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  #136 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:41 AM
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tops

This top remindes ( don't we have spell check on here any more?) me of a car I did in the seventys. It was a 65 Buick Spec, painted a high metalic blue. I done the whole interior in blue tuck and roll blue metalflake. I also made the top out of blue metalflake. As gaudy as it sounds in blended together good.I told him that material doesn't stand up well to sunlite. He didn't care. He is gone and so is the car. He kept it inside mostly and polished everyday. I wonder how it looks today. I can't find a picture. As a side note this guy was born with no arms or legs, just stubs. He had legs but didn't like them. He could drive. Well he could do everything as he lived alone. He was a sign painter, done good work. It was interesting watching him roll his own cigs.

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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:08 AM
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Thanks so much guys! Yes Gringo, I have a number of handicapped friends and it is amazing what they get done with a heck of a lot less than we do, I respect them so much.

Brian
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  #138 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:41 PM
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As a disabled person; it makes me feel real good to hear those things.

Brian; I knew you'd get it right; it's looking great!
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  #139 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2012, 10:31 PM
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Wow!

Hi Brian,

You've made HUGE progress there! If I can ever get my top to look even close to that, I'll be pleased. Congrats!

I gotta ask - did you have to take those rear trim sticks out and re-staple them A LOT? Mine has the single piece rear stick and I have had that sucker out probably 10 times. It is not easy to get out either! I am hoping that if I just keep trying, I'll eventually get it right - make up for lack of experience with sheer footwork...

My top looks right now like yours did a week or two ago, but I've got slightly different problems:

  1. I am not exactly sure where the sail panels should cross the rear window on each side. Is there a measurement out there for a 71 Chevelle that would help me out? Or is this just a "make it look right" kinda thing? The markings from my old curtain were off-center (more space on one side than the other), so I can't really use them.
  2. I have an annoying "lump" of fabric above the rear bow - it goes all the way across between the side seams, but isn't a big enough pocket to fit the whole rear bow into it. It just doesn't seem to go away.
I'll post some pictures for help (and plenty of laughs, I am sure ) tomorrow or Friday - but I just wanted to make sure I told you - NICE JOB!


-Mark
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  #140 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 08:09 AM
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I had the trim stick out 12-15 times I believe. One of the mistakes I made was making too many adjustments so I kinda lost where I was. I found that if I removed the trim stick and made one or two adjustments then put it back in only bolting it with the center bolt and the two end ones as in the drawing I could put it in and remove it so much easier. It really started jumping ahead when I did this, wham one side was done and I move to the other side and it was done lickity split, That area marked with the number 1 I found to be the where to start. Get that area right so way down in the corner and up edge of the top from that last bolt way in the corner up to the rear bow was nice, THAT was the most challenging. Then once that was done the side where it meets up with the quarter from the rear corner up to the quarter glass was a piece of cake. I was trying to do it all at once, I just couldn't. by breaking it down into sections it worked came along MUCH easier.




Then the wrinkles in that side came out by pulling the top forward on the sail panels to where it goes to the top iron and the rubber window seal holds it on. By pulling the top into place there, most of the wrinkles I had disappeared.

I went from this..


To this. with that simple pull on the top with my hand.



Now, getting it to stay in that place wasn't easy, getting that screw in there was a MUTHA. But i used a quality screw driver and large headed screw and stuck the screw on the driver so it would stay there while I was pulling with my left hand I was able to spear the vinyl with the screw and get it started in the hole.

I did strip out a few of the bolt holes holding the trim stick in, I moved up from a 1/4" to 5/16" and moved on with life. I am thinking if I were to do it over I would have put nut-serts in those holes and used regular bolts, that would have been sweet. But it all worked out.

Also, DO NOT use any bolts not a fraction of an inch longer than those that were there, the quarter panel is DANGEROUSLY close to that area and a little longer bolt could go out there and dent the quarter!

I also made little rubber washer/seals for the trim stick. The last time I installed it I sprayed trim adhesive on them and stuck them to the body before I installed the trim stick so those holes would be sealed from water.



I made them during a ball game.

Brian
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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:42 PM
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Hi Brian,

I like the plan with using the ball game to take care of the tedious cutting and whatnot. By 71, they were using a single piece floating trim stick, so mine bolts in with only 2 bolts. Having said that, getting it in and out of the body is a #$@)! pain!

So I am attaching my progress... Please don't laugh too hard - it is slowly getting better. The trick you talked about with just focusing on one side first is definitely key to this process. Like you, I was constantly trying to do both sides at once and it was driving me nuts. Today I got the passenger's side setup correctly, I think, because it actually started to look like it was supposed to be there.

Anyway, please have a look at the pics. You'll see the fabric "lump" that I was talking about. It wants to sit in front of the rear bow. I put some notes on the pictures.

I am almost tempted to clamp down the material to the front bow and see if I can just "stretch" the lump out... The rear valance vertical seams are already stretched, so I doubt it would go away.

1) Do you think the "lump" of fabric should be in front of or over top of the bow? Over top would be REALLY hard because there would be almost no top fabric at the front bow and I don't think the listing for the second one would be anywhere close to that second bow...

2) Do you think that lump will stretch out over time if I were to just staple it down?

Any help or ideas appreciated!
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2012, 10:07 PM
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I don't have enough experience to say much of anything but that sure looks like it needs to be tightened up at the header. You do have it attached to the header don't you? It looks like it's just laying on top of the irons without any attachment at all. I couldn't have made mine do that if I wanted!

Brian
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 02:39 AM
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It puzzles me that Delkra's top appears to have no darts sewn into it at the rear bow seams.

John L
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 07:25 AM
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It doesn't have the darts because it is a different top manufacturer, and a different year and model car. Yes, you need to stretch the top forward and that lump will go away completely. If you have it that good without stretching it forward yet, you are doing just fine.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:42 AM
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top

I agree with what Dan said. I wouldn't staple to rear bow yet. Pull it tight and hook to front and see how it looks then. Looks like it should look good. Keep us posted
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 04:54 PM
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Really??? You guys think it is looking ok? I think it still looks awful.

Brian - you are 100% right. I do not have it tacked to the front bow in the pictures. It is literally laying on top of the bows and I have some spring clamps holding the flaps that come in under the rear-most door weather stripping (the front edge of the sail panel).

I am going to try clamping to the header panel and pulling it forward. I want to see if I can get rid of those lumps. I'll put up more pics later.

One more question: Should I try pulling the entire top towards the rear of the car in an attempt to get the lumps to land on top of the rear bow??? There are some definite downsides (like the viewable window area would be covered more and more - leaving less than 11 inches of space in the end)...
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  #147 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 05:52 PM
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So what you're saying is that this top is not really attached to anything except with spring clamps? You can do what you're doing with spring clamps forever and it will never look right. You have to anchor it to the trim sticks in the back corners to be able to pull any wrinkles out to the front.

Do you have the old top? Where were the holes in the rear sail panels that are attached to the trim sticks? Measure the old top and transfer those measurements to the new top with chalk only and start from there. The tops I buy are marked where the holes in the trim sticks go. That's where to start.
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 06:28 PM
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Picture getting bass drum and laying the skin over it and hold it on with clothes pins, that is what you have. There is no way not how anything will look right, the act of tightening it over the bows just like tightening that bass drum skin over the drum is what makes it work.

Brian
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
So what you're saying is that this top is not really attached to anything except with spring clamps? You can do what you're doing with spring clamps forever and it will never look right. You have to anchor it to the trim sticks in the back corners to be able to pull any wrinkles out to the front.

Do you have the old top? Where were the holes in the rear sail panels that are attached to the trim sticks? Measure the old top and transfer those measurements to the new top with chalk only and start from there. The tops I buy are marked where the holes in the trim sticks go. That's where to start.
No, no... I've got a single piece trim stick (no bolt holes to cut). The top is stapled at the trim stick and clamped with those flaps on the very front of the sail panels. I haven't tried stapling it to the header bow yet.

Take a look at the attached and you'll see what I mean.

Brian, that's really a good comparison... It is a little like a drum - I just wish I knew how tight to make it...
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2012, 06:44 AM
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What make and model vehicle is this top going on?

You need to look at the old top to see where it was attached to the car and go from there. The top goes on from the back to the front, no matter what.
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