This is one of two on the
ends of the plate that are on each side of the webbing.
other side. This along with removing the rear panel, will
give easier access to the the tank.
In fact, it's the only access, so it's needed.
side mounts on either side have three (3) screws in them that
have to come out.
No matter what you do, only two can come out at a time, so do
two and then fold a bit and remove the other.
my top down as though I was going to stow it and then got a
helper ready to help lift it out.
The top is not heavy, but rather awkward and I, nor you, need
any scratches on the paint, so use help for this one.
Covering the rear panel and
trunk lid will protect the paint from the sharp edges on the
If you look carefully in the
bottom right, you can see the webbing being held in by the pin.
More on that later.
These are the five (5) bolts
that hold the plate and rear of the top down securely. I
purchased new SS bolts and lock washers.
I always like the look of the
TR6 without bumpers and without a top.
I will also pull the
passenger seat to allow more room when the tank swap starts and
to also put sound deadener under the carpets.
These are the tools that you
will need for the soft top removal from frame process.
5/16" & 3/8" sockets and 1/8" drill bits.
Back to the top removal.
This is the pin that slides through the webbing which is sewn
together to hold it in place.
I found out from a fellow
6-Pack member that the new webbing will need to be sewn and then
the pin can be put through it.
This is one of the reasons
why I will have the top installed by a professional with
everything they need at their fingertips.
Also, note the washers under
the rivets. There are little pads made to glue on those to
protect the paint below them.
You can see a rivet in the
left side of the picture above. That is from the snap male
studs that the boot cover will attach to.
The picture below shows all
of the snaps drilled out and the plate only held on by the
Being a little too anxious, I cut
the webbing, but it is not necessary to do so, because once you
drill out all
of the rivets holding it down to the top bows and front plate,
you can pull it right out of the rear plate and keep it intact.
Mark each side clearly, left
and right, as you remove them from the car.
I will tell you now, DO NOT throw the old webbing away or cut it
into pieces You or the top shop will want those
in order to have the exact distance that the bows need to be
spaced in order for the top to fit properly.
Get some good, short 1/8"
drill bits. There are a lot of rivet to drill out to get
the top removed.
I didn't have short bits, so
I had to be careful not to damage the old top, as it was in
great shape and had a home for the future.
Also, I had a vacuum there at
all times to vacuum up the chips and pieces so as to not grind
them into the windows accidentally.
I'm refinishing the frame, so
the two top hold down clamps will come out and be polished for
There are three retaining
plates that are riveted on under the front weatherstrip that
goes above the windshield.
These are very close to the
top underneath and you must be careful here if you are saving
the existing top.
This is the opposite side.
Now those are all out, the
retaining plates are off and the top can be peeled away from the
The two rivet heads in the
bottom left hold the webbing in place on the front plate
The rear plate and front
retaining plates for the weatherstrips removed.
The three (3) retainers for
the front weatherstrip come in the new kit. The rear plate
will be coated.
This is the frame with only
the rivets in the bows remaining to be drilled out.
If you buy a webbing kit from TRF, you will get the webbing,
pins, small retaining plates and new rivets.
The vinyl top is now all
folded up and ready to be boxed for a trip to sunny California.
Back to the frame, there are
four (4) pieces of vinyl that has Velcro attached to hold the
top down on the side.
I began by peeling it away to
see what was underneath and it is rusty, so that is why the
frame is getting refinished.
The material folds up over
the top and provide protection for the soft top as it begins to
pitch forward due to the angle shown below.
This is the Velcro itself,
shown above what holds it on the bottom, which happens to be the
side weatherstrip retainers.
With the top frame folded
over on itself, you can see the door glass weatherstip, it's
retainer and the Velcro for the rear section.
There is a front and rear
section of weatherstrips on each side that fold up as the top is
There are lots of rivets to
be drilled out and sharp bits help keep you moving.
Also note the remnants of a
cloth protector strip that was on each top bow to protect the
inside of the top and to keep it quieter.
Some of the rivets were loose
after all of these years and wanted to spin as I drilled them.
It is important to get the holes cleared.
This is one of the strips of
cloth that was on the first bow of the top. I will find
something for these as they are NLA.
Back to the side
weatherstrips and retainers, this is what you see when you slide
the weatherstrips out of their respective retainers.
Finally, the drilling is
over, but you now have five and four screws to remove on each
side, that are held on by nuts under the
side rails. You can see the Velcro strip starts under the
retainer and folds over the side and back up into the side rail.
The socket size is 5/16" and
all are easy to get to but two on each side, which will require
an open end wrench due to the Frame bolt.
is the annoying little guy right there. Now you may be
wondering, why the screws, instead of rivets? So did I.
four (4) screws on the front plate and five (5) on the rear..
in each section of the frame are slotted to allow adjustment of
the weatherstrips to provide a tight seal at the glass as
The rail in
the rear shows the flat washer that are stuck to it since 1974.
The new screws, nuts, flat washer and lock washers allare
furnished in the TRF side rail weatherstrip kits.
the top shop who will be doing my new canvas to installation not
only said to keep the webbing, but to mark each side.
So here it
is, all stripped and ready for bead blasting, before having the
powdercoating baked on.
there were two (2) rubber stops or insulators that needed to be
removed and the rivets would not drill out.
brought along a little help and just cut them off. The
rivets are NLA, but through another 6-Pack tip, I have a better
are also NLA, so be careful with them.
and ready for a new frame and fasteners.
back from powdercoating and Tom at
HTC in Rockland,
MA, did a great job in just three working days.
make a much better looking interior and rear plate, even if it
is under the roof.
Now you can
clearly see the adjusting slots in the rails on either side.
be protected for the rest of it's life.
they have a way of working these parts as they are coated so
that there is no freezing up of the joints and the frame is
I finally got around to
gluing the Velcro strips on the four side rails shown above.
This glue is great, but you MUST use
adequate ventilation, as in your garage with the door wide open.
This is not a "winter, in the basement project".
Before you start any gluing
on smooth and shiny powdercoated part, you must rough it up so
that the glue will stick.
I also masked off what I
didn't want to get glue on, so as to not have to clean up where
the strip does not cover.
What you see allows just
enough for the Velcro to cover so that your fingers and clamps
don't get glued to the frame.
Now would be a good time to
tell you that unless you are skilled in working with drying
glue, you should buy four throw away
paint brushes to use for doing one section at a time. Plan
to let it dry with the clamps on for at least a day, better for
If you have a lot of clamps
and wooden wedges, you can do it all in one day and let it sit
for several more days.
DISCLAIMER ** WARNING
As always, the responsibility
of the care and practical use of a product is on the user, not
me or the manufacturer. This is no exception.
There are strict warnings on
the label about ventilation and flame issues. Please be
smart enough to follow them and use at your own risk.
After you understand that you
need to breath, we can start by gluing the wedges on each front
edge of the frame. These were NOT
installed under the original strips and were brought to our
attention by David Fidler, the editor of the 6-Pack magazine.
I used foam from a cold
cup/can cooler to cut into a wedge that aligns with the side and
tapers out to meet the front frame bar.
These shots show the taper
and the strips are about two inches long. This helps make
the top seal better at the front edges.
Another view of the
transition down the rail. Foam is not that easy to cut and
I wanted something that would last, so that
makes it a bit tougher to cut. Sharp scissors help a lot
and you may have to cut several to get the taper that you want.
glue well, per the directions and have your brush and clamps
ready. You can see the back of the coated Velcro looks
The glue is
already of the frame, but hard to see in this picture.
FYI. These are the Velcro strips sold by The Roadster
Factory. I like the soft cloth backs of the vinyl and
and it makes for a very easy piece of trim to be worked into
place. The glue adheres well to it and the width of the
Velcro is perfect.
could not apply and take pictures at the same time, so you now
see the Velcro being held flat against the edges
that will NOT be held down by the weatherstrip channels.
Get the wedges all the way down to the bottom of the frame
so that they hold all of the back of the vinyl material tightly
against the frame rails. This will seal them tight for
years to come.
view from the side. I like using wood shims so as to not
smash down the Velcro with the clamp jaws.
hours of drying (I was in no rush...it's 80 degrees and sunny
outside). Note the flare out of the Velcro
at the front edge of the side rail, meeting the front frame
neatly for a good future seal with the new top.
top edge was pressed down many times by me in the set up
process, so it adhered very well.
It is also
held down by the weatherstrip channel, so it is going no where.
better view from the front side.
This is the
opposite side after gluing and drying with the clamps holding it
side from the bottom showing the front frame match up.
opposite side. Thanks again to David and the 6-Pack
Canadian soft top installers for the great tip!!
I used an
Xacto knife to cut the holes for the screws that hold down the
allow you to move the channel in and out to meet the glass and
provide a nice weather seal.
Roadster Factory front channel, mounted. Note the slots that allow the
channel to move back and forth.
another view of the opposite side.
little cutters work great for the job.
time to glue down the first rear Velcro strip. Notice the
bow in the frame that was not in the front?
the wedges on the back side to insure that area is glued down
glue is drying, I decided to mount the cushion with the aluminum
screw posts, but hit a slight snag.
on the right shows the height of the compressed cushion, so I
bought the second size in the line.
fastened down, it allowed the cushion to move around, so I
bought the smaller version, next to the rivet.
another view showing the short guy with an open bottom and the
longer versions are solid.
I got mine
at a local True Value hardware store.
opposite side clamped down and another view of the bow.
That makes you work the material well so that it levels out
That is how
the rear Velcro strips should look when dried and ready for the
holes to be opened up to fit the channels.
This is to
again illustrate the bow in the rear and how the Velcro should
look when attached properly.
five slots on each rear frame section and it is the longer
section of each side.
channels are NOT bent, but come straight, so you will have to
start to draw it down with the screws from either end.
are in place and this side is ready for the weather strips.
The Roadster Factory rails are made well and fit nicely.
and star washers go on the inside of the channel, behind the
silicone lube to help with the installation of the weather strips,
so as not to damage them.
under my thumb fits against the glass side and the two legs at
the bottom slide into the tracks in the channel.
look at the weather strip.
This is how
it slides in place, but that should be obvious from taking the
old ones off.
I have mine
adjusted all the way out, as close as I can get to the edge, until I mount it on the
car and check the glass fit.
This is the
front rail and notice that it is too long for the channel.
DO NOT cut the excess off.
If you look
back at the beginning of the disassembly, you will see that
these are supposed to be like this.
all ready to go.
Now for the
hold down levers, which are simple enough. The screws are
Metric, 5.8M and are Pozi Drive.
are sloppy and loose, perhaps this wave washer is missing or
worn out. In any event, they are needed.
mounted so that the bottom side of the frame rail can be locked
down onto the top of the windshield frame.
Just a shot
of the other side.
and ready to be fit to the car for the new top.
was time for mounting on the car. I will address the channel to glass
as well as the webbing for each side of the top and why I said
not to throw the old webbing away.
This is the
webbing, hanging loose and as seen from the rear. The main
reason not to throw the original webbing away,
is so that you can set the floating rear rail in the proper
position and the new top will have the proper stretch and form.
position is very important for alignment purposes and even a
professional shop wants the old ones.
door glass is level across the top and aligns well, but I cannot
move the weather strips any closer to the glass on either side.
I was asked
the other day on the 6-Pack Forum if there was a tilt adjustment
for the glass to bring them in closer.
I will be driving over to A&E Auto tomorrow to see what he has
in has bag of tricks, because I can't see how to do it.
I really do
like the width of the Velcro and how the strips fit the rails.
You can see
the slight gaps at the top of the glass. I'm thinking that
I may have to wait and see how the new top affects the
frame alignment, as it is drawn tight to the frame, so these may
get adjusted after the top is installed on Thursday.
of the rails and the adjustment slots as the frame is clamped
down on the body.
side view of the same.
side door glass travels up too far and when lowered, has a less
than ideal fit. That will be taken care of tomorrow.
curvature alignment looks good, but I don't like the gap between
the glass and weather strip at the rear of the glass.
on the folding rail that I used the aluminum screw post to hold
in place instead of a rivet.
really don't do much to help protect the upholstery covering
each wheel well when the top is down.
to leave permanent dents in the vinyl.
the two top hold down levers in locked position, at the front
it's at the upholstery shop getting the new top installed, I have
a new BobbyD rear trim panel kit going in.
finish the interior trim for the time that I own the car.
I was not
happy with the frame on the car and how the weather strips
failed to seat tightly against each door glass, as shown below.
The drivers door touches evenly, but barely and the passenger
door is way off.
There was no further way to move the channels out to meet the
glasses, or to tilt the glass to meet the channels.
Drivers door, not too bad, but will still leak air and water.
Passenger door is not acceptable at all.
Sooooooo...off comes the frame and back into the basement.
All of the slots in the frame need to be elongated another 1/8"
to 3/16" ,
in order to get the channels out far enough to insure a very
good seal to the glass.
Out comes the Dremel and away we go.
In order to get the channel out to the edge, you can see the
area marked by white chalk that has to be ground out.
This is the first two holes, roughed in and before trimming. You
can see the difference in the original slot length and these
A little closer shot to show the difference. Now I clearly
understand why guys complain about window water and air leaks.
I decided to do this because this will be the last time that I
ever plan to have the top off of the car
and it is much easier to do it now, than with the top on the
I got the
right Dremel carbide tungsten cutter and finished all of the
slots. This makes the cutting go very quickly.
After trial fitting the channel after each cut, I ended up
taking more out than I thought I would to get to the edge of the
all of the elongated slots on one side.
But before leaving all of those bare edges to rust, I coated all
of the cut slots with POR15.
I let it dry for a few hours and then I assembled the channels
to the frame.
Still ended up with the black stuff on my fingers.........will
not come off for a week of washing.
Using a Q-Tip saves making a big mess with a brush and you will
need several, as the POR reacts to the cotton and makes it
This is a better fit on the drivers side.
And a MUCH better fit on the passenger side.
And that's about the last of this view.
of Glynn Upholstery in Seekonk, MA installed the top and the new
BobbyD interior panels.
Just an FYI, this is a guy who has 35 years in the business and
he said that Bobby's work was second to none. The fit was
for all of the sections and the quality of the backing and
padding was great. So remember that when you need new panels.
The top fits beautifully and I only saw one thing that concerned
me when I picked it up and that was that there were
no felt strips added to the bows. Russ explained that the
Robbins tops have a section of heavy material at each of the
that go over the bows in order to eliminate the strips on the
bars. Sure enough, when I looked it was there and they fit is
I'll take a shot of those tomorrow in natural day light, as the
night and florescent bulbs in the
garage make the interior and the top look weird color wise.