View Full Version : Top install advice?

Joe Reed
06-06-2006, 05:27 PM
A couple of guys from our car club are gonna be helping one of our members install a new soft top on his '66 Tiger - and none of us MG folks have done a Sunbeam before. The rear looks pretty straightforward (by British standards), but the attachment to the header rail seems to be a little harder to decipher.

Any advice you experts can give (other than to be out of town that day!) would be appreciated...

06-06-2006, 06:56 PM
Carefully take apart the front of the old one with everybody watching and one guy on a digital camera taking lotsa pictures. You'll figure it out. The back looks alot like MG tops... so not much difference there. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

Joe Reed
06-06-2006, 08:52 PM
Yeah, that's the plan but, according to the owner (I haven't looked at it) it's not obvious how it goes together like those on the MGB. There are no visible screws, and he says it looks as if it may slide in from the side or something like that...?

06-13-2006, 01:30 PM
The top is permanently fastened to the body so it is a bit different from those that are not. Here's how I've done it in the past. You'll need a screwdriver, sewing type punch, a couple spring clamps, chalk, 10 - 12 1/8 pop rivets, high strength weatherstrip or auto fabric cement.

And before you get started roll the windows up and make any adjustments needed to the top frame for fit around the windows. You do these by bending the hinge arms as needed.

1 Remove both seats. makes it a lot easier to fasten the rear part to the body. Also remove the weatherstrip channel from the front bow by drilling out the pop rivets holding it on.
2 There is a series of holes corresponding to the aluminum trim strip in the rear of the body. Use chalk or a clothespin to mark where the center hole is. Mark in the drip channel that's at the bottom. With the weatherstrip in place and the top out of the way its easiest to put the alloy piece in place and use the punch to find the hole you'll mark.
3 Put the top frame up and lay the top over it. Check to see that it's even between the trunk hinges and that the flaps on each side line up with the stud and snap on each side of the body. Flaps should be up from the body no more than about 3/4 inch. Window bottom to body, is I think 3 to 4 inches. Not near mine right now to measure...
4 Get inside and kneel on the rear shelf. Take the punch, alloy strip, screws and screwdriver with you. Place the alloy, flat part up, where it will trap the top and weatherstrip between itself and the body. Make sure the middle of the strip lines up with where you've marked the center screwhole.
5 Using the punch feel through the hole in the alloy strip, throught the top and weather strip, for the hole in the body. Once found and lined up leave the punch in place and clamp the strip to the body. Then remove the punch and insert the first screw. The first one is the hardest one. Provided the alloy strip came off the same car it's going back on the rest of the holes should line up.
6 I fine it easier to now start at the ends using the punch and putting in the screws. Once that is finished you can move to doing work outside.
7 The sides of the top do not get fastened to the body so do not run them under the short alloy strips.
8 Now remove, if they aren't already, the strips on the b post part of the top frame. They are held on by 4 screws behind the weatherstrip. Once removed the top has a flap that folds behind them. Adjust as needed and replace the strips, these hold the top to the back of the door window.
9 Now for the front bow. I now go ahead and pull the top material out straight and mark with chalk where it hits the front of the bow. That is, where it would wrap around. Then remove the front bow from the frame and using a high strength cement glue it to the flat area where the weatherstrip channel goes. Move the chalkmark slightly under the front edge, you want to tighten up the fabric when the front bow is attached to the windshield frame. Now reattach the weatherstrip channel, replace the weatherstrip, and once the glue has setup, attach to the windscreen.

Joe Reed
06-20-2006, 08:50 AM
Thank you VERY much for your detailed instructions! The car presently has a top on it so we should be able to handle it by paying attention to how the old one comes off - and refering to your instructions as we go....

Joe Reed
07-22-2006, 03:21 PM

Just another "thank you" for your excellent instructions. We installed the top this morning without a problem...

07-24-2006, 11:06 AM
Happy to have been able to help.