Restoration pictures and
text of both hard top and soft tops
The top is being stripped of all
chrome and parts to be blasted.Parts are loged on the computer for location and condition.
Because the top is fiber glass
we decided to soda blast it.The top will have to be scrubed before any primer can be sprayed to remove the soda residue.After
blasting the top will be put back into inventory untill we're ready to refinish it.
Two coats of urethane 2 part primer
were applied,sanded with 180 and 2 additional coats were added.We will see if all scratches can be sanded out by wet sanding
with 400 grit.
and color sanding the top is explained in the body section.I sent the top to an upholstery shop to have the head liner and
weather strip installed.I installed the windows, chrome and latches to complete the hard top restoration.
If the hardtop
is left off the car for a time the sides tend to expand enough to not let the side pins enter the slots making the side
clamps hard to engage when installing the top. I used the same rod I used when working on the soft top with
fabricated ends to pull the top back into shape.
the soft top frame was a challenge.Needed are a good 1/8 punch,a # 8-32 and 10-24 taps , drill bits and a
lot of patience.
The parts were sand blasted and powder coated for assembly.It is very important to keep each side seperate because the frame
has right and left side parts.
When I install
the rear clamp receivers I cut a piece of ready rod, with a nut and washer and insert the unit adjusting the nut and washer
until the receiver barely touches the finish on the top of the rear deck panel. Use another nut and washer and lightly tighten
to adjust the frame.After frame is fitted tighten to keep the receiver from moving on the top of the rear deck panel.
The corners on the
rear deck are prone to have a bad fit and sometimes the hinge that lays across the rear deck gets bent out of shape.
The material is fairly soft and can be molded with a mallet,vise and a sponge (leather glove doubled works good). Hit on the
ends only, not in the middle and not on any other piece of the soft top frame.
A friend had his frame
fitted and welded for the corner fit and because aluminiun is soft, after a few years the corners came up again.Someone
in the chat room sugessted this method. Take a 3/4 X 4-1/2 X 1/8' metal strip, drill 2 holes on each side of the
hinge to fasten with a # 10 flat recessed bolt. Before drilling the holes in the frame have the latch assembly lightly fasten
on the top side.
- When fitting on the rear deck a slight bend was needed at the hinge
point as visable in the picture. This is not always necessary.The plate was positioned and holes were drilled to not interfere
with other holes drilled in the frame.
Put the side
receivers on the body and measure the pin insert from side to side.Put all the rear frame pieces together leaving the bolts
loose and with a 3/8" ready rod , adjust the nuts so the pins fit the inserts (56") Set the rear frame
on the body, lock the rear clamps with the side receiver pins in the inserts and tighten the rear clamp hinge bolts into the
frame. Check the corner fit and if not correct lossen the rear clamps, disassemble and put a slight bend in the reinforcing
strip, tighten the strip first and than tighten the rear clamp. A little bend here goes a long way. Fit each side to obtain
the best fit.
Puting the side peices
together with new pins.The newer frames need two pin kits.
I used these
instructions when putting the side frames together. The lenghts of the pins are important.
The rear and side
frames are all pined together to the swing arm and the header and center cross arms are fastened. New tact strips
were installed and on the rear frame the metal retainer was used to help suport the corners. The tack strips had been rivited but
we used a #8 tap and bolt. Restoring the frame was a big job but now were ready to go to the upholstery shop.
Car is now in the
upholstery shop and the webbing straps are installed. I glued the tack strip in that went over the top as there were
no holes from the factory and must had been pressed in. I had to take that part off and used # 8 bolts to secure it.
Notice how nice
the corner sits down on the body. I hope it stays.
The car is back home
and the top looks great. The top was a big huddle to complete and I'm glad it's finished.