by Gary Cooper – STOA in the March 1996 RooteReview

Before fitting your hardtop to the car there are a few things that you need to consider and do. For starters, any major movement of the parts mentioned below may expose damaged or undesirable painted surfaces. Unless the top seems too loose, don’t attempt this. Make sure the gap between the windshield and the wing windows are as parallel as possible and the distance between them is correct. First, make sure that the wing widows are properly seated in the doors.

To adjust the windshield you will need to loosen five to seven nuts. There is a nut in the middle, in about the center of each foot well and one or two on each side at the end of the windshield pillar. Unless it’s necessary don’t loosen the nuts more than 3/16 of an inch or so. The inside lip of the windshield to body molding may slip under the frame. If this happens, don’t despair too much, a needle nose or long flat nose pliers with tape on the inside of the jaws works well. If a lot of movement is required it may be necessary to remove the nuts and use a putty knife to carefully break the caulking seal loose between the body and the windshield frame. This can get very involved, to the extent of shimming the windshield posts. It’s best to do all of the adjusting at the trunk hinges as described below.

If you haven’t put your hard top on the car for a long time, or you have installed a new soft top since then, you might check to see if the windows, when rolled up, interfere with the hard top side finisher strips (rain gutters). If this is the case you will have to adjust the window stop in the forward end of the cam-plate channel.

With the help of a friend, carefully place the hard top on the car by lowering the rear pins into their respective holes in the front of the trunk hinges. Now lower the front of the hard top down to the windshield making sure that the side clamps don’t get caught underneath. Place the tooth of each of the front toggle clamps into the toggle catches mounted on the windshield. If the hard top fits across the top of the windshield smoothly, hook and close the clamp. If the clamps close too easily or with great difficulty, adjust them so that you can just close them with one hand. They don’t need to be much tighter than that. There’s no adjustment for the side clamps so just lock them down.

The rear pins should be in the holes of each trunk hinge, with the top of the pin touching the top of the hole and at least halfway in. To adjust them, you need to loosen the screws and nuts so that they are just snug. With the trunk open push the hinge forward so that the pin is being compressed downward then tighten the nuts. Once you’ve adjusted the anchor side of the hinge you’ll need to reposition the trunk lid.

Comments (1)

I am seeking hardware for my Mark 1 hardtop, Sunbeam Specialties says I need to seek out mfg. of the top I have that has no I’d. Markings. Do you know what mfg. names out there I can check with?

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