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Old 07-15-2013, 02:01 PM
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Advices for home made top on a roadster?

My 34 Roadster is close to road legal, and I'm starting to think about making a nice and convenient top on it. As I see it, there are two ways: A carson top, or a foldable convertibe top.
A foldable top would be most convenient, but this is an all new area for me, and I'm not sure where to start.

My budget si limited, so buying some custom fitted top is out of the question.
And since I have a home made Duval windshield, and the bodyplate between the seats and the rumble lid is home made as well, I guess that roule out many standard fit solutions.

What I'm thinking of is to buy for example a MG Midget Austin convertible frame for cheap like this one:
MG Midget Austin Healey Sprite Convertible Top Frame Cobra Hot Rod Custom | eBay

And modify it until it fits my car and then cover it with canvas. What do you think?
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:37 PM
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I personally would simply make it from scratch. Look at how simple the 34 Ford top irons were.



Just using photos of them you could simply copy them. Believe me, making one from another car work, especially a late model car, holy crap that would be a job of the ages. Making one from scratch would be MUCH easier, without any doubt, without ANY Doubt what so ever in my mind.

But if you start this, you could make a model out of cheap conduit for bows and just get the pieces to fold properly fitting in the confines of your car. Then transfer all that over to a little heavier metal and you are on your way.

Take a look at these, how simple can you get!

1932 Ford Top Iron Kit | eBay


And these are only $275! So maybe you could use 32 Irons? I don't know, with the fact that the roof needs to be shorter due to the Duval windshield, these may work. But starting with them makes a LOT more sense than starting with those other ones from the MG or what ever.



Believe me, I am not making light of the time it would take, it is complex, these top irons, more complex than if they didn't fold. The folding so they all come down as they should and so the top hooks to it properly and all, this is no weekend project. Just rebuilding and aligning the irons on my 65 Buick was a HUGE mind bending project for me. But I can't stress enough, by the time I was into it a little, shaking in my boots, I was soon getting more and more comfortable with it. Next thing you know I am understanding why this and that are built the way they are, I was understanding what I was looking at and it got easier and easier. I ended up installing the top myself, again, SERIOUSLY overwhelmed at first, but it got easier and easier and more understandable and next thing you know I am done. Right now you are standing on the outside looking in, it may be overwhelming. But give it some time, what does a pile of 1" flat stock and some conduit cost? Give it a try!

Brian

Last edited by MARTINSR; 07-15-2013 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:46 PM
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now in all fairness, look what you built. nice ride sir. but a hardtop is what your girl their is asking for!!! or just let her run topless.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by killeratrod View Post
now in all fairness, look what you built. nice ride sir. but a hardtop is what your girl their is asking for!!! or just let her run topless.
Yep, it's like a motorcycle, enjoy it!

Brian
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:01 PM
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Maybe A Removable Aluminum Hardtop?

I was toying with a removable aluminum hardtop for my '27 RPU. Maybe this link might help get some ideas flowing: Miller's 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup - Rod & Custom Magazine

More:
http://www.poptops4u.com/

Last edited by lakeroadster; 07-15-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:25 PM
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I built a framework out of .500 stock (~12mm) and a header from some oak. While it took me a lot of hours, am currently not using it as the folding type and top irons ended up being a better choice at the time. I've dug it out for a potential upcoming winter project as I can more easily make up windows plus the fabric wont billow like it does with the folding style.

This is the early in-progress part of that assembly:

There is significantly more reinforcing steel plus a window frame in it now as it sits currently along with the finished hardwood header. I'll probably cover it with ABS sheeting, some padding then Hartz or similar convertible top cloth.

This is the current top, using standard irons, but my design for the way the top is cut and installed. It either billows or is depressed between the header and bow depending on the speed or cross winds. It looks nice, but could better:

Dave W
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:30 PM
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yes it must be removable. never had any other thought.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:45 AM
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Thank for the inputs. Lots of good inspiration and suggestions.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:00 AM
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I was building a glass one for my 32 before I sold it..didn't get to finish it...

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Old 07-16-2013, 08:24 AM
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Before I put the metal frame for mine together, I bought a Gibbon 'glass top. What a POS that turned out to be. Luckily, I was able to sell it to someone who was able fix the screw ups and to use it on a '32.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staleg View Post
My 34 Roadster is close to road legal, and I'm starting to think about making a nice and convenient top on it. As I see it, there are two ways: A carson top, or a foldable convertibe top.
A foldable top would be most convenient, but this is an all new area for me, and I'm not sure where to start.

My budget si limited, so buying some custom fitted top is out of the question.
And since I have a home made Duval windshield, and the bodyplate between the seats and the rumble lid is home made as well, I guess that roule out many standard fit solutions.

What I'm thinking of is to buy for example a MG Midget Austin convertible frame for cheap like this one:
MG Midget Austin Healey Sprite Convertible Top Frame Cobra Hot Rod Custom | eBay

And modify it until it fits my car and then cover it with canvas. What do you think?


I own 2 mgb they have the most complicated top I have ever used of any Convertible.a second person is needed ,I can do it alone but not easy but I have to be out side and has several attaching points and Velcro patches

I also have a mazda Miata probably the easiest to use and very simple open and close with one hand from the drivers seat This unit is totally self contained with 3 attaching bolts on each side ,That's It,, I just replaced my top and frame last week I will try to take photos tomorrow of the top and frame that came off of my car so you can see it.
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