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    • #57419

      I’m finally getting around to installing a soft top on my Mark II Tiger. I purchased the top and associated hardware from Sunbeam Specialties. Having a good time doing the restoration, which has included bead blasting the soft top frame and having it powder coated (Tiger Drylac RAL-7001 Light Gray). I am documenting every step of this process, as I find that no one seems to have done that for the entire project (e.g. dis-assembly of the old frame through installation of the top). I’ll post the process.

      As you all probably know, there are differences between the early (Tiger Mark I) top and the later Tigers (e.g. the Mark II). I am soliciting some input on one item related to the tops.

      My Mark I Tiger’s soft top frame has three (3) "belts" that affix by rivets to the rear most "hoop" on the frame and extend all the way to the front soft top metal "bar" that attaches to the front windshield area (for lack of a better term). I use the term "belts" because the fabric is not unlike that used for seat belts. These three belts more or less tie the front soft top metal piece to the middle and rear frame "hoops."

      But… on my Mark II, their is just one such "belt" (and a short one at that). It merely ties the rear most (fixed) hoop with the middle (movable) hoop. This belt does not extend to the to the front metal frame "bar" and the outer two belts are not part of the design.

      Because my Mark II was missing a soft top (have a hardtop) except for the frame when I purchased it in 1978… I am questioning if this apparent difference between the Mark I and the Mark II is correct. Seems to me that the Mark I design (with the three "belts") is a better design: providing more support for the soft top and "tying" everything together better.

      Any of you guys care to comment on the Mark I versus Mark II differences in the soft top frame and hardware (specifically the "support belts")? Is the difference I’m describing "accurate" and if so, why did they drop the extra support straps?


      Bill Waite
      Grand Rapids, MI

    • #63198

      My apologies to Dave Reina who definitely HAS documented the soft top replacement process very well right here in the "Tech Tips" page (Body section). I am still going to detail the process I am going through, including digital pics start to finish. But, I will certainly benefit from his very thorough article.

      Still have the question as to why Rootes went to just one "shock strap" on the late model soft tops. Seems like the three used on the earlier design would provide superior support and tie everything together better. Just a cost cutting move?

    • #63551

      Hey Bill,
      Last year i replaced the soft top on my ’66 Alpine (which should be the same as the Mk.1A/Mk.2). Also got the top from SS. It came with no straps at all!!
      It’s fine with the windows up, but with them down, the top (of the top) buffets around so much at highway speeds that you’d think it will either rip apart or get really stretched out.
      I would definitely put some supporting straps in (the more the better) before installation.
      Still haven’t decided what to do about it – can you retrofit straps in after installation?
      (Luckily i only use the top in winter with the windows up – natch).

      Rob (rootesrob)

    • #63556

        The straps IIRC are pirelli webbing? On the MKI’s the 3 straps do hold tension, but most cars seem to only have the 2 outers doing their job (perhaps because they are no elastic enough and not being streched in the middle?)

        I thnk they went to 2 straps on the MKII? the outer ones.. IIRC the header rail has a recess on it for the strap in the middle and points on the sides for it to attach.. did your MKII have 3 anchoring points on the header rail.. or 1 or 2?

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