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Convertible top main frame broken

Looking for suggestions. The main frame component is broken where it attaches to a "pivot" point. This appears to be some type of cast metal. My only thoughts are to

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Old 06-07-2020, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Convertible top main frame broken

Looking for suggestions.
The main frame component is broken where it attaches to a "pivot" point. This appears to be some type of cast metal. My only thoughts are to try to buy one from a wrecked car (or buy the whole wrecked car).

Then I was wondering if maybe a machine type shop could fabricate and weld something to repair it.

Anyone else have experience with this issue.

I assume the top has other issues too, but this is the first one to resolve.

FYI: My 370z is a 2010 with 24K miles. I purchased it with the top broken. My guess is the top was having other issues and the previous owner broke the frame trying to repair or pry on it.




Last edited by Crayz1; 06-07-2020 at 12:48 PM. Reason: add pictures
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any suggestions?

The main frame structure to the top is broken at a pivot point. Anyone had any experience with this? Any suggestions besides buying a frame from a wrecked car?




Last edited by Crayz1; 06-09-2020 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My Z is a 2010. The main top frame is broken at a pivot point. Any suggestions other than buying a used top assembly (or a new one)?

Picture of the passenger's side that is not broken:




Picture of the driver's side that is broken:
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I had the same thing happen to my 2017 Roadster. The guys at Nissan told me they'd seen a lot of these. Since my car was under warranty, they replaced the whole top for free. But they said the cost would have been $19K if it hadn't been under warranty!!
I would guess that the hinge could be welded by a reputable shop. It'd at least be worth spending a hundred bucks on it to try. Far better than getting a new top!
As far as getting one from a wrecked car: The roadsters are pretty rare; I suspect it would be hard to track one down. I'd definitely start by asking a guy at a good body shop what they could do.
Good luck!
Steve
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Old 02-05-2021, 02:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My 2015 370Z convertible top frame broke - trying to find the frame second hand - my former 350Z had the metal frame - I'm working with Nissan North America (wrote to CEO several times) and my mechanic to find a replacement - guessing you could get a shop to create part - no luck on my side finding a replacement in good condition yet
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Old 02-05-2021, 02:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My convertible top 2015 370Z frame (plastic) frame broke and I am not under warranty - yes it is $18,000 to replace since they don't sell the frame separately - you have to buy the whole "kit" - trying to get Nissan North America to help (wrote to CEO and several VP's multiple times - say they are trying to locate a used one for me - we will see) - I am heartbroken my convertible is "useless" at the moment. Have mechanic looking for me also.
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Crayz1,

With the proliferation of CNC machines and 3D printers in ndustry and smaller businesses, I would wonder if you couldn't remove the good bracket frame section from the other side of the car, and then have a new one made ... but in reverse to match the broken one.

Someone in these businesses should be able to help you out. You give them the broken one and the other one that's not broken, and they manufacture a new one from similar materials. Certainly worth spending some time tracking down just such a solution in a small to medium sized business locally or in a small city near you.

Its what I'd be trying to do. Good Luck!

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Old 02-07-2021, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do not waste your money on a used top. It will probably be in worse condition than yours and eventually break AGAIN. The only real permanent solution is to 3D scan and refabricate out of titanium:

I don't have a convertible, but if I did:

Step 1. I'd have a local convertible specialist extract the broken part, (driver and passenger side).

Step 2. Take precise measurements (break out the digital caliper) and have an Autocad model generated for the part. If you don't know how to do this, find someone locally who does, maybe a shop that can 3D scan it and generate an Autocad file for you.

Step 3. Send the completed Autocad computer file to a firm like this to fabricate a new part out of titanium: https://www.emachineshop.com/titanium/. Contact them, maybe they can also do the 3D scanning for you.

Step 4. Ask other forumers here if they were interested in a group buy to get the cost of producing the part down. If I was another random convertible owner on here, I would participate in the group buy even if my part was not broken yet, just to have them on hand for when they do, because it is a question of when not if. Heck, I'd probably swap them out before they broke, just so it's better than factory.

Step 5. Have local convertible specialist install new titanium parts.

Step 6. Never worry about part breaking down or corroding ever again; it's titanium. I chose titanium because the original part is made of aluminum. I bet Nissan (or their supplier who are building this roof for them) chose aluminum for this hinge because they don't want the heavy weight of stainless steel weighing down the assembly. Thus, as someone with an engineering background, I would like to warn you that if you had this part made of a heavier metal, it may throw the whole design out of balance and in the long term, cause other problems and break other components down the line. IMHO, titanium is the only option for a long term, permanent and perfect OEM+ fix.

As an outsider with a coupe, it seems to me that even if you are still under warranty, and Nissan replaces your roof you are just kicking the can down the road. By the time your new roof breaks (again) you will be out of warranty.

P.S. The original part looks like it's (die?)cast aluminum to me. There is no way to weld broken cast aluminum together and expect it to have anywhere close to the original tensile strength it originally had. Remember, the fracture happened there for a reason, as the fault line of the fracture represents the highest stress points in the part. Now you are putting a much weaker weld in the fault line, the same fault line that represents that highest stress datum along the part and expect it to hold. Any weld or repair to it will be useless and the weld will be ripped apart almost instantly as soon as the same stress forces are applied. It will just be a waste of your money in both welding it and the cost of labour to remove and reinstall it. The weld will be MUCH weaker than the original unbroken piece and even that still broke with the high stresses it has to endure.
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutmeg View Post
My convertible top 2015 370Z frame (plastic) frame broke and I am not under warranty - yes it is $18,000 to replace since they don't sell the frame separately - you have to buy the whole "kit" - trying to get Nissan North America to help (wrote to CEO and several VP's multiple times - say they are trying to locate a used one for me - we will see) - I am heartbroken my convertible is "useless" at the moment. Have mechanic looking for me also.
My 2010 Roadster's top is broken as well.... Since it is out of warranty, Nissan refused to replace it even though I do not drive the car often (11 years and only 17,000 miles). I gave up on contacting Nissan since they always give me the run around.
My heart is also broken because the car is worthless without a working top. I will try to trouble shoot to see what's wrong and will attempt to fix it myself sometime next week or so.
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoatw View Post
My 2010 Roadster's top is broken as well.... Since it is out of warranty, Nissan refused to replace it even though I do not drive the car often (11 years and only 17,000 miles). I gave up on contacting Nissan since they always give me the run around.
My heart is also broken because the car is worthless without a working top. I will try to trouble shoot to see what's wrong and will attempt to fix it myself sometime next week or so.
Let us know how it works out. I also have a 2010 ZR with just less than 18K miles...
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For sure Gr8-WRX... Since you are also in Nor Cal, once I get mine trouble shoot, I can probably help you out as well.
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Old 02-15-2021, 03:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayz1 View Post
Looking for suggestions.
The main frame component is broken where it attaches to a "pivot" point. This appears to be some type of cast metal. My only thoughts are to try to buy one from a wrecked car (or buy the whole wrecked car).

Then I was wondering if maybe a machine type shop could fabricate and weld something to repair it.

Anyone else have experience with this issue.

I assume the top has other issues too, but this is the first one to resolve.

FYI: My 370z is a 2010 with 24K miles. I purchased it with the top broken. My guess is the top was having other issues and the previous owner broke the frame trying to repair or pry on it.




my own experience 16 months ago... both sides broke...

370z roof won't move warning light on

370z roof won't move warning light on
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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my own experience 16 months ago... both sides broke...

370z roof won't move warning light on

370z roof won't move warning light on
Sigh, proof that once again the only permanent solution is to 3D scan and fabricate out of titanium.
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Old 02-16-2021, 01:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sigh, proof that once again the only permanent solution is to 3D scan and fabricate out of titanium.

you can consider that... however, the size and shape of that piece of metal is big, it looks like a small piece but in fact it extends all the way to the back of the side window, PLUS, it's very hard to remove from the top assembly.


the cost and work on removing the top is straight forward, but to remove the particular part is quite some work.

And to find a shop that can 3D print or fabricate to the same spec is possible but who knows how much work and the cost.

And to put it back together and make sure it works flawlessly is another challenge.

the whole process could take up to more than a month without firmly knowing it will work or not.

with so many unknown, thus I bought a used top for 3k and just do a simple swap.
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Old 02-16-2021, 02:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcheng View Post
you can consider that... however, the size and shape of that piece of metal is big, it looks like a small piece but in fact it extends all the way to the back of the side window, PLUS, it's very hard to remove from the top assembly.


the cost and work on removing the top is straight forward, but to remove the particular part is quite some work.

And to find a shop that can 3D print or fabricate to the same spec is possible but who knows how much work and the cost.

And to put it back together and make sure it works flawlessly is another challenge.

the whole process could take up to more than a month without firmly knowing it will work or not.

with so many unknown, thus I bought a used top for 3k and just do a simple swap.
Ya, but then the same part in your used top will eventually break again...

It would cost less to custom fab the parts and have a permanent solution.
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