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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Location: St-Ours
Hi there Peoploids,

I finally cast the latch catches today, Monday April the 25th.

I made two extra sets, because I doubt that I will make anymore using the lost wax process. It simply isn't....well it simply isn't the best way to make ends meet.

Sooooooo....I have two sets available. Price is 120 a set plus postage. I tell you in all honesty, 100 of that is going to my buddy, the owner of the foundry for the gas used and his time preparing them, actually mounting the waxes with little trees just like model car making, then he cooked the ceramics to get rid of the wax, there are oither steps that he did also. 20 is going to me: mold making, wax casting, ceramic coating (12 coats)aluminum casting and cleaning up.
Oooh and there are the holes to drill...you elongate them.
I'm sorry if this is not the proper place to offer these but I think that the visibility should be a priority with the good weather showing up.
If anybody wants them shoot me a PM. Thank you.

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Last edited by Manutea on Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:07 pm 
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BRONZE!!!!!!?? :shock: 5000 years from now these nifty little
pieces of ART will be found.. the cars long ago reverted
back to iron oxide 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:09 am 
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Sorry,
I meant aluminum casting. These castings are quite small yet demand the same attention as bigger ones. Particularly to clean out the two crevices. Basically it's bronze that is the main occupation
I came back tired and we did do some cleaning up on bronze. In fact I'm going back tonight after work as my friend needs help to cast three 40 lb sculptures. Quite big and it involves a hoist and a bigger melting pot. Tricky stuff at 1600 F.

Having said that, if anyone ever wants them done in bronze......it involves exactly the same work as aluminum except at a higher temperature.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:20 am 
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Location: St-Ours
Hi there everybody,

I made a batch of latch catches for the vert.
A number of people did show interest. It's a very labor intensive project and time consuming. It cannot be rushed. The major cause of this is the proper drying of the ceramic coats.
I do know that they are a bit pricey when compared to many other things but no one is making tons on this project.
I made them to be of service.
One purchaser did show up and his pair has been sent. So far so good.
I did get this note from someone who wanted them very much, after a few back and forth emails:

Its with deep regrets that I will not be purchasing your latches.
I came across a bunch of red tape with custom fees and national security
fees and all the rest of that crap.

I am very sorry to take up so much of your time.
Sincerely xxxxxxx


Frankly I don't get it. There are no customs when you purchase from Canada a made in Canada automotive article. The rest is bull.
Anyway, this is not the place to rant, as of today I do have 3 sets left. First come, first served.
Thank you for your attention.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Location: Oklahoma
I'm interested in purchasing a set. Please PM me and I will arrange payment.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:03 am 
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Location: Colorado
I am desperately searching for top latches for my 1991 Geo Metro Convertible. I would like to know if these aluminum latches are available and whom do I need to contact.


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:00 am 
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Lesliet wrote:
I am desperately searching for top latches for my 1991 Geo Metro Convertible. I would like to know if these aluminum latches are available and whom do I need to contact.


.
I have a used set for sale


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:54 am 
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Location: Palm Springs: Too hot from June to Oct.!
With 4,000 windmills within several miles of our house
Image
I wouldn't think of sending my Wife out in her convertible with anything less than these aluminum latches.
Thinking back, there have been some horror stories of people ruining tops when their latches broke on the highway and the top caught the wind. You can search and read the threads.
Here, cruising uphill at 60 mph into a 60 mph headwind is quite common.
Gusts can get over 120 mph and her top seems to have held up fine for the past 3 years.
If these latches hold tight in our extreme conditions, I'm sure you'll not have one break.
Of course, they'll never rust.

People who drive trucks will tell you that the most severe wind they encounter along I-10 is exactly where we live. An inexperienced truck driver with a high center of gravity load will find himself on his side in no time. The wind is nothing to be fooled with out here. That's a strong statement, considering that I-10 stretches 2431 miles from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida.
The geography (a 'mountain pass' region) results in the high winds.

I consider these an investment in safety and highly recommend them.
You'll be very lucky if he is willing to sell you a set.

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DIY Broken Bolt Removal: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=41042
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Once you get the cars dialed-in (compression, leaks, bearings, alignment, brakes) swap in new rubber and glass, you've got something which should last for years!


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Location: Colorado
jaguar,vettes&sprints wrote:
Lesliet wrote:
I am desperately searching for top latches for my 1991 Geo Metro Convertible. I would like to know if these aluminum latches are available and whom do I need to contact.


.
I have a used set for sale

Are they the aluminum ones? How much do you want for the set?


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Phil N Ed wrote:
Here, cruising uphill at 60 mph into a 60 mph headwind is quite common.


those rag bag cars you drive won't go 60 mph if they fell off a mountain. :-P

you have to be in the special "high roller" club to get aluminum latch catches. :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:33 am 
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All I want to say is: THANK YOU VERY MUCH "Phil and Ed" and "T3 Ragtop" for the swell write-up.

I really would like to help out the community, I really would. But the foundry work in lost wax is quite expensive. They want $100 a set to process them and I charge $125. Of course most of the work is actually done by me. If there was a sufficiant number of hands I would go the die cast route, but the plates cost $1500.00. Of course we have to add the cost of the casting and the factory will do it, if there was a certain quantity of course.
Then the cost of a set would likely be in the $40 range.

Story of my life: Too small to be big and too big to be small.

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Last edited by Manutea on Wed May 02, 2012 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:17 am 
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Would these be possible to make on a cnc machine or are there too mant different angles involved.

Ken...


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:03 pm 
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many inverted faces, probably next to impossible to machine correctly.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd. - 1992 White Suzuki Swift GT

My Turbo3 Project
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My YouTube Channel
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SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:39 pm 
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I took a set of latches to a couple machinist in my area and they said that exact thing T3. Too many internal curves and too complex for a mill. Would have to be cast. I have a guy that thinks he can cast a set for me if I supply the aluminum. He prefers old Chevy pistons for parts like that, good alloy. I just happen to have a set of '64 covair pistons.

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1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed 3-door hatchback "herbie"
1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed convertible "sportie"


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:51 pm 
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like frederick said, lost wax casting is expensive and tedious. i'd like to have a set of the more duable latch blocks but i've got too many other pressing parts needs tugging at my lunch money. :-P

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd. - 1992 White Suzuki Swift GT

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Attachment:
latch.jpg
latch.jpg [ 177.68 KIB | Viewed 1093 times ]


After looking at this photo and knowing that it is stronger than the original plastic part. Could you not remove the material on the backside (in red) to make it easier (and possible) to do with CNC?

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:29 am 
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I think that it will weaken the catch.

When you drive at any given speed, vacuum is created on top of the car, this is why your top lifts when it is in the closed position.
This puts strain on the front latches and of course everywhere the top is attached to the body of the car.
I have never seen a convertible top, in the closed position, flapping. Always ballooning at some speed.


All convertibles do the same thing, from Packard Patricians to MG TD's to Bently Azures.
If you have a dried up vinyl soft top, the problem is different, particularly if it's quite old. When it is cold, they contract, thus putting quite a lot of strain at the catches. They are fun to fold down when it is a warm autumn day but you must put them back up before the sun sets....or else, you will be fighting to snap it shut. Worse may happen and I have heard of it: the plastic catch breaks or the front window.

The design is good as is, I wouldn't change it.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:58 pm 
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Manutea wrote:
I think that it will weaken the catch.

When you drive at any given speed, vacuum is created on top of the car, this is why your top lifts when it is in the closed position.
This puts strain on the front latches and of course everywhere the top is attached to the body of the car.
I have never seen a convertible top, in the closed position, flapping. Always ballooning at some speed.


All convertibles do the same thing, from Packard Patricians to MG TD's to Bently Azures.
If you have a dried up vinyl soft top, the problem is different, particularly if it's quite old. When it is cold, they contract, thus putting quite a lot of strain at the catches. They are fun to fold down when it is a warm autumn day but you must put them back up before the sun sets....or else, you will be fighting to snap it shut. Worse may happen and I have heard of it: the plastic catch breaks or the front window.

The design is good as is, I wouldn't change it.



I understand that but if it was made from aluminum I thought it might be at least as strong as the plastic original, even with material removed. Of course I don't think anyone would be willing to test the theory on their car. Me included. Maybe if I find a beater parts car I'll see about making some to test. That way, who cares if the top rips off at 60 (except maybe the guy behind me :lol: ).

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:27 am 
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Top-Down I thought about the same concept. Machine the catch in two pieces the tig welld together in a gig to insure proper aliannment. would be quite time involving making expensive. I also thought about making some out of welded flat iron with a gig, but haven't taken the time.

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1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed 3-door hatchback "herbie"
1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed convertible "sportie"


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:44 am 
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Okay....
The solution is simple:

Die cast. I did the reseach and I have met with the companies willing to do them for me.

The mold costs 1500.00 or thereabouts.
Then the price drops to $40-50 a set.

As you read above, I had some trouble selling the ones I did make with a lot of labor.
I'm too small to invest that money and be stuck with merchandise that I will have to sell at loss.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Iunderstand and agree. Thats why I havent persued.

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1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed 3-door hatchback "herbie"
1990 geo metro 1.0 5 speed convertible "sportie"


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 5:13 pm 
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i should have bought a set while i could.

but then, if i was rich instead of so damned good looking, i would probably take the afternoon off and go to the movies, too. =)

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd. - 1992 White Suzuki Swift GT

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
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SAAB Sonett II


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:56 pm 
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t3 ragtop wrote:
i should have bought a set while i could.

but then, if i was rich instead of so damned good looking, i would probably take the afternoon off and go to the movies, too. =)


Don't forget modest...... so sooooo modest

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Does anyone have contact information for Mr. Frederick?

Thanks - Allan McConnell


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:21 pm 
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use the pm button under one of his above posts. his member name is Manutea.

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1991 Blue Geo Metro Convertible highly modified 1.0L Turbo3 5 spd. - 1991 Red Geo Metro Convertible customized with a Twincam 5 spd. - 1992 White Suzuki Swift GT

My Turbo3 Project
My Cardomain Page -Ol' Blue
My YouTube Channel
My Photo Gallery
SAAB Sonett II


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