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Thread: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Bought a nice old top and need to secure it to windshield. I contacted Farmer and Nigel but their hardware requires drilling into windshield frame. Isn't there some way I can secure to soft top "posts" on vertical windshield frame? This would be ideal as I don't want to drill or cut on this car anymore than I have to.
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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    Jedi Hopeful aero3113's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Can you install soft top clamps to the hardtop? If you have any pics, that would help.

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Yes I think so. Wondering if that makes sense?IMAG4039.jpgIMAG4041.jpg
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    My BN1 aftermarket top uses the same clamps as the soft top, joining the top to those pegs on the outside of the windshield header. No modification to the windshield is needed. There is a small strip of aluminum that offsets the clamp about a half inch lower relative to the side of the fiberglass top. I can send pix of the detail once I get home later in the week.
    Bill Sullivan
    Albuquerque, NM

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    I have a NICAL top and the machined L-shaped bracket you refer to is attached to the windshield stantions with two small screws on the stantion's after face. I don't think that anyone but you will know the holes are there if you chose to remove the bracket when you take off the top (which is not necessary as it does not interfere with the soft top). You would also need to purchase the corresponding swing bolt that fastens to the top and holds it down to the brackets via knurled nuts.

    I had thought about using a pair of soft top clamps but decided not to as I felt they would detract from the top's appearance and also would not exert the amount of clamping force that the bracket/swing bolt offers.
    Last edited by Michael Oritt; 11-19-2017 at 09:38 PM.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post

    I had thought about using a pair of soft top clamps but decided not to as I felt they would detract from the top's appearance and also would not exert the amount of clamping force that the bracket/swing bolt offers.
    That's what I was worried about, would it be secure enough? I had to remove my soft top as it was too uncomfortable due to position in put the seats in while folded behind the seat. I have moved my seat back for comfort and it just wasn't fitting.

    Could you post up or send a photo of the how it attaches? Thanks, John
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey 100 View Post
    My BN1 aftermarket top uses the same clamps as the soft top, joining the top to those pegs on the outside of the windshield header. No modification to the windshield is needed. There is a small strip of aluminum that offsets the clamp about a half inch lower relative to the side of the fiberglass top. I can send pix of the detail once I get home later in the week.
    Yes Bill please send or post pic. Have you ever been concerned about it flying off at speed or do you feel that it is plenty secured? Thansk, John
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    John--

    I'll put a picture of the NICAL fastening system up tomorrow.

    I also have a stay made of 1/8" diameter SS 1 x 19 wire that runs from the center of the scuttle to the header bar of the soft top or inside edge of the front of the hardtop, whichever is mounted.

    The stay attaches at its upper end to the center triangular buffer via a forked terminal that is swedged onto the wire and a threaded terminal at the other end passes through a small hole (3/16" diameter) drilled into the scuttle, just in front of the rear-view mirror. A knurled nut under the scuttle threads onto the terminal and exerts downward pull upon the top giving a good weather-tight seal between windshield and top.

    The concept is similar to the rod stay that was found on MB 190 SL's, Porsche 356's and some Miatas and though it may sound Rube Goldberg-ish it is really quite simple and unobtrusive. I'll post a picture of this stay as well.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Quote Originally Posted by 55modified View Post
    Yes Bill please send or post pic. Have you ever been concerned about it flying off at speed or do you feel that it is plenty secured? Thansk, John
    My hardtop uses the same clamps as the soft top and I've never been concerned about it flying off at speed.
    John, BN4

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    Jedi Hopeful aero3113's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    I have an original pair of soft top clamps listed on eBay if you go that route and need them.

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F182906017489

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Here's a pic of the bracket and swingbolt supplied by NICAL for my hardtop. I am quite sure they can be purchased separately from a hardtop.

    Note--due to a tap breaking off in the stantion when I was drilling/tapping the mounting holes I had to go to one size larger screw than originally supplied.

    Edit--looks like BCF has again decided to invert the image 180 degrees as the pic now appears upside down. The bracket attaches to the top of the stantion....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Michael Oritt; 11-20-2017 at 11:57 PM.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Yesterday I tried to describe the stay I fabricated that attaches to the header bar of the soft top or inside front lip of the hardtop and runs through the scuttle just forward of the rear view mirror. It allows me to exert a strong downward pull on either top giving a good weather seal against the top of the windshield frame.

    I have attached two picture of the stay, the first in its "deployed" position with the stay projecting through the scuttle. Not shown is the thumbscrew that attaches to the stay's bottom end under the scuttle and behind the dashboard which, when tightened, pulls the top down against the windshield. The second pic simply shows the stay pulled out of the hole.

    I purchased the 1/8" diameter 1 x 19 stainless wire and the upper forked and lower stud terminals at a West Marine store. The parts are in the rigging department and the terminals may easily be swedged onto the wire using a die and vise supplied for use at the store. Once I had the correct measurement for the wire's length, allowing for the depth of the blind holes in the terminals, it took but about 15 minutes to make up the piece.

    If the stay looks somewhat obtrusive in the pictures it is not in real life. As I said in yesterday's post several cars--MB 190 SL's, Porsche 356's and some Miatas used solid rods to keep the windshield frame from distorting and the look is the same here.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    Yesterday I tried to describe the stay I fabricated that attaches to the header bar of the soft top or inside front lip of the hardtop and runs through the scuttle just forward of the rear view mirror. It allows me to exert a strong downward pull on either top giving a good weather seal against the top of the windshield frame.

    I have attached two picture of the stay, the first in its "deployed" position with the stay projecting through the scuttle. Not shown is the thumbscrew that attaches to the stay's bottom end under the scuttle and behind the dashboard which, when tightened, pulls the top down against the windshield. The second pic simply shows the stay pulled out of the hole..
    Thanks Michael, That is interesting as I had not thought of a center mount like yours. On teh Nigal part for the swing bolt, do the bolt heads show from the outside? I hate to drill into this old fiberglass top of mine to make those holes.
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Nothing shows on the outside. I don't know what kind of top you have but must imagine that the material at the corner is thick and heavy enough to allow the use of a blind fastener. Fiberglass is not always the best material in which to cut threads with a tapping screw or the like and you may want to use a threaded insert that you can epoxy into the top material which would allow the use of machine screws for the swing bolt, etc.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Here is the arrangement mine uses. It has been this way for the 40+ years I've owned the car. There is a crude spacer made of flat sheet metal to lower the clamp just a bit. We have driven it with the top on 30K or more miles, top hasn't flown off yet. It leaks rain under the header. It is fairly rattle free. It tends to scar the paint under the lower top to body gasket. That gasket is badly worn and it is hard to find a decent replacement for it.


    DSCF0468.jpgDSCF0467.jpg
    Bill Sullivan
    Albuquerque, NM

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    Senior Member 55modified's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for fastening aftermarket hardtop for BN1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey 100 View Post
    Here is the arrangement mine uses. It has been this way for the 40+ years I've owned the car. There is a crude spacer made of flat sheet metal to lower the clamp just a bit. We have driven it with the top on 30K or more miles, top hasn't flown off yet.
    Thank you. I will probably do something like this to start. Pete Farmer sells a kit as well. Looks to be high quality. Here is a photo:
    Farmer kit.jpg
    1955 Austin Healey 100/4 (modified Chevy drivetrain)
    1985 Porsche 928S

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