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Reproduction Convertible Top Seals Initiative


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As we all know, there are no companies that offer reproduction seals for the 1990 to 1995 Cutlass Supreme convertibles. I am hoping that if we were to collectively pull together original (ideally NOS) seals to assemble a complete top seal package, that we may be able to convice a company (e.g. Steele Rubber, Metro Moulded) to reproduce the seals and offer them as part of their inventory.
 
I currently have a NOS front header weatherstrip (12521618), NOS right rear rail (12517030), and NOS left quarter sail window (12509633). With some parts that are mirror-images from left to right sides, I would assume that a company could do a mirrored reproduction if at least one side NOS seal is available. With that being said, if I can find a NOS intermediate (center) seal for either the left or right side, we could at least have the complete set for the top. I am not necessarily looking to buy that particular NOS seal but would do so. My goal is for us to team together to help all of us. Originals would remain in possession of owner and only shared with a repro company if something can be arranged.
 
Attached is a diagram from the Top Diagnosis and Service Training Manual that I have enhanced for identification purposes. Included is a listing of the parts numbers. The numbers are for the updated 1992-1995 parts, most of which are identical for the 1990-1991 years too.
 
So... please comment here or private message me if you prefer. I am really hoping we can accomplish this. Thanks.

1992-1995 Cutlass Parts Diagram.jpg

1992-1995 Cutlass Parts Listing.jpg

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Unfortunately I don't have any New Old Stock seals to share, I'm impressed that you were able to find any at all.   I would like a new set of seals, as mine leaks in many places, but I'm worried they would be too expensive for me to buy if a company did reproduce them in a limited run.    I've tried to add an additional seal on top of the existing seals in the places where they are leaking, but I haven't had much luck with that technique.   I wonder if the original drawings for these seals exist in a drawer somewhere at GM or at the company that bought Cars and Concepts.   I found this tidbit today on the internet, I wonder if there's any chance that this company has the Cutlass convertible drawings in a box somewhere in storage, doubtful though.

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Cars and Concepts, Inc., was sold to Masco Industries in 1992, and became known as MascoTech, Inc. MascoTech began buying up other companies in the automotive field as well as other industries and became an amalgamated company offering many products and services. The company changed its name to MSX International, of which it is known today. MSX recorded revenues of $1.4 billion USD and employs 14,000 people worldwide as of 2013. The company is based in Taylor, Michigan.

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Ive contacted Steele and onw other company and they are not interested in reproducing them, Steele would be the company to do it though. Send a letter to their R&D engineering team via the customer support rep, but you`ll have to get a good one on the phone and not one that`ll give you the run around. I was going to let them have access to my vert and everything for the effort. Due to the complexity of some of the seals and the projected profits the company foresees, its not feasable for them to pursue. I had a thread going but I cant find it in my "Content I started" tab that might have some more info in it.

Gummi Pfledge is about the best stuff thats come recommended to keep the old seals in good shape but that wont fix damaged ones.

Because all Cutlass convertible conversions were done by two different companies and not at the factory there were never a great amount of replacement seals produced but I`d be interested in were the tooling and molds went after the conversion shops stopped making Verts. All that stuff could very well be sitting in an old building in a small town collecting dust right now.

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I wish I had some seals to make available to you for this effort, but the best I can do at this juncture is offer moral support. That said, I'd love to have a set if they could be made available for an affordable price. I did have a mechanic, who describes himself as a reluctant convertible top expert (he says he's really good at convertible tops but really hates working on them), tell me that periodically coating the existing seals with silicone grease is a good way to keep them pliable and extend their useful life.

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Because all Cutlass convertible conversions were done by two different companies and not at the factory...

This is interesting. I thought Cars and Concepts set up a shop and did the conversions at the factory. Who was the other company?

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I have not found the name of a second company that did the convertible conversions.   The following statement is from Wikipedia:

“The last Cutlass Supreme convertible was completed on February 15, 1995. The reason for this is that the last 34,743 cars built in Doraville were sedans, the coupe production was sent to Fairfax, Kansas around March 1, 1995, and Cars and Concepts did not have a facility near Fairfax.“

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Supreme

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18 minutes ago, jonosso said:

I have not found the name of a second company that did the convertible conversions.   The following statement is from Wikipedia:

“The last Cutlass Supreme convertible was completed on February 15, 1995. The reason for this is that the last 34,743 cars built in Doraville were sedans, the coupe production was sent to Fairfax, Kansas around March 1, 1995, and Cars and Concepts did not have a facility near Fairfax.“

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Supreme

I wrote that, it's true. All Cutlass Supreme convertibles started as hardtops at the Doraville plant, sent to C&C for the conversion and then finished back at the Doraville plant.

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It was in an ancient thread here I read that there were two companies that did the conversion hence the two different size options when ordering a new top. I`ll try and dig it up and repost it when I have a chance as some of the best info was posted in threads approaching 20 years old and several updates since.

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6 hours ago, ManicMechanic said:

I wrote that, it's true. All Cutlass Supreme convertibles started as hardtops at the Doraville plant, sent to C&C for the conversion and then finished back at the Doraville plant.

You`d be the guy to know for sure, do you recall hearing about a second company doing the conversions? Sitting here thinking about when you take the measurement off that 3rd bar, it also seems like I read they changed it a bit to improve the design. My memory dont work too good sometimes.

Hell I may be thinking about the T-Top conversions on 3rd Gen Firebirds now, I`m getting my car stuff mixed up guys so dont pay too much attention to me.

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7 hours ago, ManicMechanic said:

I wrote that, it's true. All Cutlass Supreme convertibles started as hardtops at the Doraville plant, sent to C&C for the conversion and then finished back at the Doraville plant.

Awesome!!!  Do you know if there was a second conversion company in addition to Cars and Concepts as mentioned earlier in this thread?

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10 hours ago, rich_e777 said:

It was in an ancient thread here I read that there were two companies that did the conversion hence the two different size options when ordering a new top. I`ll try and dig it up and repost it when I have a chance as some of the best info was posted in threads approaching 20 years old and several updates since.

I do believe the 1990-91 tops are slightly different than the 1992-95 tops is what brought that up. But they were all, even the pace cars, were done at C&C. :thumb:

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22 hours ago, ManicMechanic said:

All Cutlass Supreme convertibles started as hardtops at the Doraville plant, sent to C&C for the conversion and then finished back at the Doraville plant.

I don't know how cars are assembled, so bear with me on this question. Did Cars and Concepts get coupes that had a roof on them, then cut the roof off the car? Or is it possible on a unibody vehicle to not install the roof and hand off the car to Cars and Concepts roofless. Just wondering how much "slicing and dicing" Cars and Concepts had to do when making the convertibles.

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14 hours ago, kcac said:

I don't know how cars are assembled, so bear with me on this question. Did Cars and Concepts get coupes that had a roof on them, then cut the roof off the car? Or is it possible on a unibody vehicle to not install the roof and hand off the car to Cars and Concepts roofless. Just wondering how much "slicing and dicing" Cars and Concepts had to do when making the convertibles.

The roof was still on the car when C&C got it, it was cut off there.

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26 minutes ago, ManicMechanic said:

The roof was still on the car when C&C got it, it was cut off there.

Was the interior installed at the factory and then disassembled for the conversion?

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Please understand that I do not possess any definitive information on this but form an efficiency standpoint, It would seem to make much more sense for the interiors to be left empty until after the top conversion. Otherwise, C&C would have to gut the interiors before they did anything else and then everything would have to be installed a second time, creating extra steps, both at C&C and at Doraville. Meanwhile, many coupe parts like headliners, window glass, rear package shelves and back seats would likely end up being tossed. It would be easier for that stuff just not to even be there before the conversion. Of course, that doesn't mean they actually did it that way.

Edited by Human
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On 10/31/2020 at 2:13 PM, ManicMechanic said:

The roof was still on the car when C&C got it, it was cut off there.

ManicMechanic, are you also part of the Facebook W-Body group?  I posted an article there about the CSC and a member is insisting that C&C only did the 50 pace cars.   It would be great if you were part of that group and could chime in.  I don’t know your real name to see if you are part of that group. 

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On 11/1/2020 at 8:12 PM, jonosso said:

ManicMechanic, are you also part of the Facebook W-Body group?  I posted an article there about the CSC and a member is insisting that C&C only did the 50 pace cars.   It would be great if you were part of that group and could chime in.  I don’t know your real name to see if you are part of that group. 

I am not sure, you can tag me and see: Jay Beausoleil

On 10/31/2020 at 1:40 PM, jonosso said:

Was the interior installed at the factory and then disassembled for the conversion?

No, that would not make sense. The rear inner panels, the basket handle trim likely were but the rest would be installed at the plant.

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That guy is clueless. I highly doubt his 1994 is "perfect" as he says. Take the cladding off and some of the convertible specific trim and he will find that it started life as a coupe and welds that the factory would have never done plus the front fenders were cut down. I couldn't believe how much of a hackjob my original 2 owner Texas cars were.

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Just now, ManicMechanic said:

That guy is clueless. I highly doubt his 1994 is "perfect" as he says. Take the cladding off and some of the convertible specific trim and he will find that it started life as a coupe and welds that the factory would have never done plus the front fenders were cut down. I couldn't believe how much of a hackjob my original 2 owner Texas cars were.

I am sorry for dragging you into that discussion.  I was hoping that he would be open to discussion and education about the car.  Thank you for being a good sport. 

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11 minutes ago, ManicMechanic said:

Take the cladding off and some of the convertible specific trim and he will find that it started life as a coupe and welds that the factory would have never done plus the front fenders were cut down. I couldn't believe how much of a hackjob my original 2 owner Texas cars were.

Sounds like covering up sloppy construction with drywall. What did you see when you took a look at your two cars?

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1 minute ago, kcac said:

Sounds like covering up sloppy construction with drywall. What did you see when you took a look at your two cars?

Very sloppy welds, factory welds would have been much neater. The front fenders looked as though they were cut with a reciprocating saw and two large holes drilled for bolts. Under a cover on each front door is where they hacked off the door b-pillar and re welded it back on and it looked like a baboon was using the welder, seriously.

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Quote from a supervisor over convertible production  at the Doraville plant:

Quote

the supervisor over vert production at the doraville plant i know there have been questions if verts after 91 were built as coupes and his answer was:

 

Yes, that is correct. The body was built as a regular coupe with the addition of several extra braces in house. Then the body was sent to C&C for the rear conversion, then sent back to us. Body was then processed and put back into the regular production line and went to the Paint Dept. Body was actually sent back to C&C after this for the convertible top install and and other convertible only assembly. Shipped back to us for final build.

 

It was a rather complicated assembly with a lot of extra man-hours involved.

 

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