View Full Version : surrey top question

04-17-2011, 10:11 PM
I recently purchased a surrey top for my TR4, the fabric portion to be specific. Before I just either ran with the hard top on or nothing. I received the fabric and was going to put it on but there are 4 snaps across the front edge that I thought just slipped under the top cap on the windscreen like a soft top does. Can someone tell me what those 4 snaps across the front are for? I can't see how it would slide under and fit and stay on with those snaps in the way. Do I have the wrong surrey top?

04-17-2011, 10:13 PM
They made more than 1?

04-17-2011, 10:20 PM
I thought there was always only 1 but I can't for the life of me figure out what those snaps are for. I'm sure i'm about to get schooled though.

04-17-2011, 11:50 PM

My understanding was that it just tucked under just like the TR4 soft top and if it had any snaps those would be on the outside edge. How about snaps on the rear edge?

I've got a new in box soft top and frame that I bought from TRF probably 25 years ago awaiting a future install since the top didn't come with them. I can try to take a look the next time that I'm in my parts storage.


04-18-2011, 12:32 AM
The only place there are 4 snaps together is inside the top that holds it to the sticks.
There is 1 snap in all 4 corners and one more inside the drip edge above the center of the driver and passenger windows.

They are correct in the surrey top slides under the ridge on the windshield cap and then snaps on each corner.

I'll send 3 separate pics of my top on my TR250.

04-18-2011, 12:39 AM
# 2

04-18-2011, 12:42 AM

04-18-2011, 08:30 AM
The snaps along the leading edge indicate a top that can be used on a TR6 or TR4 that doesn't have the lip on the windshield cap to tuck the beaded edge under.See the different caps in the Moss catalogs for TR4 and TR6.I believe there are 3 versions.
For those applications the male part of the snaps had to be installed on the windshield frame.
I installed a Surrey on my TR6 using the TR4 surrey windshield cap, but I had to remove the snaps from the soft top to make the top bead tuck under the cap.

Did your top come from the Texas guy ? :cryin:

04-18-2011, 09:20 AM
YES, it did come from the guy in Texas. Have you had some dealings with him?

I bought my complete surrey from him a while back. I was pretty satisfied with the backlight and center hard top section. He sent the center soft top section but it has those snaps along the front that I could not figure out, but now I know, it's for a TR6. I guess I could just remove them and it would fit.

The only other thing that has not been perfect about my top from that guy is that the backlight was not drilled out for the H Frame. I've got to get on that this week.

04-18-2011, 09:43 AM
Yeah Doug I did. I think it was about a 3 month ordeal before everything arrived. I heard so many excuses I lost count.
In addition my soft top was a poor fit. I had a shop add a section of material so the top would make it from front to rear and the window "awnings" are a little short as well.
But for now, like Scarlett, I'll think about that tomorrow.

04-18-2011, 10:20 AM
Bought mine from TRF some years ago. If I remember correctly, I had to install the corner snaps, it fits very well. The only very minor complaint to those who worry about such things is the original was black on the outside and off white on the inner, replacement was black on both. Mine has 6 rivets across the front holding the stiffener in place.

04-18-2011, 11:24 AM
If you have four snaps across the front, you do not have an original surrey top! Proper surrey tops were produced only for the TR4, 4A and 250 models. The front leading edge of the soft top fits under the aluminum windscreen capping and there is a snap in each front corner, for a total of two snaps and not four.

04-18-2011, 11:37 AM
I had the same issues as Poolboy with the top from Texas. I also removed the center snaps and had to add a 3-4" patch to make it long enough. It doesn't fit good on the door windows, but does stay on. The hard top fits much better. If you have to drill the holes for the brace, your going to have have fun with that. Purchasing and installing the surrey on my TR6 was a real interesting experience. Good luck!

04-18-2011, 11:47 AM
I'm not sure I'd want to rely on 4 snaps to hold that top on in the front - I'm skeptical it would ever hold.

04-18-2011, 07:07 PM
Whoa, what kind of fun am I in for with drilling those holes in the backlight for the HFrame?

So that sucks that surrey top doesn't fit. Has anyone gotten one from Moss and been happy with it?

So I had multiple delays in getting the whole surrey top (backlight, hardtop, etc.) and more excuses than I've heard in a long time. I actually wound up getting the center hard top in a few weeks from ordering, but then the backlight didn't come for another 4 weeks.

04-18-2011, 07:30 PM
I don't see where drilling those 2 holes thru the Fiberglass would be a problem.
Making the soft top fit, that's another story.
Is it the Microplas backlight ?

04-18-2011, 07:39 PM
Doug and Poolboy,

So this is an aftermarket Surrey top? I think that Revington makes/made one.

Is this all fiberglass (backlight and center section?


04-18-2011, 07:51 PM
This is actually an original surrey top, not the microplas one. At least as far as I know it's an original surrey top that has been restored. It was sold to me as an original top with new paint, new back window, and new new seals. It looks like they filled in the front holes where the H Frame goes in and didn't put the snaps back on the frame. Thus I am going to have to man up and drill in to allow the H Frame to mount.

04-18-2011, 08:01 PM

There appears to be a metal plate in the fiberglass to reinforce it. Drilling the holes shouldn't be a problem. But, make sure you have the bracket lined up correctly to mark the holes for drilling. The rag top snaps onto the bracket in the center and also on the sides. You don't want one side hanging lower than the other. In spite of all the problems I had in getting the surrey top to my home (and there were a bunch, my top toured a good part of the country), and the problems I had fitting the rag top, its still on my car and I like it much better than the original one that was on it.

04-18-2011, 08:08 PM

Why in the world would they fill in the holes on an original backlight??

Just to verify that it's original, aluminum backlight frame with glass rear window and either aluminum or steel center section?


04-18-2011, 08:09 PM

I just read your last post. Mine is the Microplas surrey, and they are different than the original ones. A friend of my has an original one on his TR4a and after comparing both, there is a difference. The seals are completely different on the window areas. His rag top fit much better than mine.

04-18-2011, 09:00 PM

Before you start drilling, I suggest you get some accurate measurements from someone on where exactly those holes are. If you have an original, you should see it is made of an alloy material. I can uncrate the one I have if you are in dire need, but it might take a day or so.


04-18-2011, 10:05 PM
What is a Microplas surrey top? I never heard of them until this guy in Texas has been selling them. Is he making these I wonder?
I've seen the ones that Revington makes at a local car show. They are odd looking and wouldn't want one on my car. The guy paid over $3500 for the kit and to have shipped here. Wow! One could have purchased an original aluminum frame and top for that.

I wonder about the 4 snaps if it is designed to help hold the surrey top front edge under the windshield cap. I have problems with mine pulling out at highway speeds.

04-18-2011, 11:33 PM
What I've read is that Microplas was a company in England that produced fiberglass hardtops in the 50s-70s and possibly into the 80s.


04-19-2011, 07:57 AM
I double checked this morning and confirmed the backlight is an alloy frame, so that would indicate it was one of the original surrey tops. The rag top, obviously not. I don't have any reason to doubt the fella that sold it to me, the quality appears quite good, just took a long time to get here all together.

Why they filled in those holes for the H-Frame, I don't know why they would fill in those holes. I'm gonna do a test fitting with the rag top they sent, but so far from what you guys are saying, it's probably not gonna fit to well.

Randy, if it is not too much trouble, having those measurements for where to drill the holes for the H-Frame would be great. I was gonna start by trying to fit the H-Frame and marking where it appears it should go. Then use a center punch to make the mark and use progressively bigger drill bits to make sure I didn't wander off. So if it's a big deal to unbox that top don't worry about it. I'm also going to send out an email to my brothers in the Triumph Club of the Carolinas to see if anyone one else has a surrey I could come over and check out.

Feel free to pick apart my fit plan. And thank you for all the feed back so far.

04-20-2011, 10:51 PM

Here are a couple of pictures of the holes from the frame in the worst condition. The one in better shape is up on a top shelf to keep it out of harms way and not really accessible at the moment.



My quick measurements are that the holes appear to be 1" on center apart from the top holes and just short of 5/8" to center from the top edge of the frame. I'm sorry but I forgot to measure the size of the hole. :frown:

These were quick measurements with a tape so please just use them for comparison with someone elses! I can go back this weekend and try and do a better job if you tell me where you would like me to measure from.


04-22-2011, 06:04 PM
Hey Scott,
Thanks so much for the pics and the measurements. I think that's really gonna help give me a reference point to get those holes in the right place. I'll post again once I get some time and put those hole in my backlight.

04-23-2011, 09:19 PM

Please wait for someone else to post some similar measurements as you should have a second (or third even!) opinion before you go drilling holes in an original Surrey top backlight frame based on my measurements with a tape measure!

I did take some more measurements this evening that hopefully Randy or Bob (new Surrey top owner!) can corroborate.

Top hole diameter: 7/16" (note this appears to have elongated front to back)
Soft top frame hole diameter: 7/16"
Soft top frame hole depth: 1 1/4" (deeper than I expected!)
Top hole to soft top frame hole (center to center): 1"
Top hole to soft top frame hole (edge to edge): 9/16"
Soft top frame hole to soft top frame hole straight across (edge to edge): 27 3/8"

Note that the top of the soft top frame hole is very close to the edge - around 1/16"! I'm not sure how you would be able to accurately judge the vertical angle to drill the hole and insure that you don't come out the top of the backlight frame especially if you make them as deep as mine are since the backlight slopes downward. It was hard for me to gauge the horizontal angle as well but hopefully you could tell that from the actual frame.

I wonder if they just filled them in with something softer than the aluminum frame (bondo?) that could be dug out without drilling other than perhaps a small exploratory hole?


04-24-2011, 12:05 PM
I uploaded some pictures to flickr of my backlight frame, I think you may find them useful. Pictures (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/)

I show slightly different measurements than Scott.

Soft top frame hole diameter is 3/8 the hole measures slightly larger at the beginning because of wear.

Soft top frame hole depth 1 1/8"

Soft top frame hole to soft top frame hole straight across center to center 27 13/16" This is hard to measure, but matches well with frame rivet to rivet measurements in pictures.

The soft top frame holes must be accurate drilled so frame will fit correctly, I think the angle is very important (see pictures)

It is hard from these measurements to know where to start on the frame, I can make a template off mine if you need.

I agree with Scott, there has to be a way of drilling out the original holes.

04-25-2011, 07:54 PM
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5144/5649634165_455afc28f7.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649634165/)
P4240009 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649634165/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5106/5650198366_4cb31ecbb3.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650198366/)
P4240008 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650198366/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5228/5650197804_b6cfbbcfec.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650197804/)
P4240007 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650197804/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5148/5649632519_5f08d6ffa2.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649632519/)
P4240006 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649632519/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5021/5650196684_b28b7cf9fc.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650196684/)
P4240004 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650196684/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5649631275_2d3753aec5.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649631275/)
P4240003 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5649631275/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr
https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5148/5650195452_100c1679c9.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650195452/)
P4240002 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrichlen/5650195452/) by MRichlen (https://www.flickr.com/people/mrichlen/), on Flickr

04-25-2011, 08:04 PM

Thanks for checking your backlight frame!

Your measurement of 27 13/16" center to center matches my measurement 27 3/8" edge to edge plus the radius of the 2 holes (3.5/16" and 3.5/16") so that's good!

I didn't think of the diameter being larger due to wear for the soft top frame or checking it with a drill. I did go back and was able to insert a 3/8" tap with a little wiggle to it (didn't have a drill bit handy!) but wasn't able to insert a 7/16" tap.


05-01-2011, 10:51 AM
Hey guys, those are some great pics, thanks for doing that.

With those measurements, i'm gonna try and locate the original holes and see if I can carefully drill those out. I'll post again with the outcome. I'm doing a car fixup day today.

05-01-2011, 11:41 AM
The plot thickens.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I pulled off the weather stripping and just pealed back the head liner from the front edge of the backlight frame to see where the holes had been filled in. Well, there are no holes that I can see. So much for that plan. I'll throw a pic up in a few minutes.

05-01-2011, 11:48 AM

Sounds like someone has redone the interior lining on the backlight frame if it's glued that high. If you look at my pictures, you can see that the original just wrapped over where the weather stripping attaches (Mark's pictures also indirectly show this since you can't see the lining either.)

Pictures would be great!


05-01-2011, 12:10 PM
Ok, my first attempts at putting up some pics from my flicker album.

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5067/5676008013_b46cddbfdf.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676008013/)
IMG_0496 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676008013/) by doug_hairfield (https://www.flickr.com/people/14054825@N00/), on Flickr

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5186/5676566162_1a8343d60b.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676566162/)
IMG_0494 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676566162/) by doug_hairfield (https://www.flickr.com/people/14054825@N00/), on Flickr

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5149/5676011111_a220575aa4.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676011111/)
IMG_0497 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676011111/) by doug_hairfield (https://www.flickr.com/people/14054825@N00/), on Flickr https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5101/5676576608_8b6035d42c.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676576608/)
BL Frame 1 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14054825@N00/5676576608/) by doug_hairfield (https://www.flickr.com/people/14054825@N00/), on Flickr

05-01-2011, 12:16 PM
Doug, some funky characters in your link I think

05-01-2011, 12:35 PM
ok, think I've got this flicker thing figured out. My previous post should have the images in it now.

05-01-2011, 12:36 PM

Those shots appears to be taken from the underside of the backlight frame and not the front face of the frame. The holes for the soft top frame are not open all the way through. They are closed which is why Mark and I gave you the depths from our frames.

It would appear the hole for the soft top frame would be drilled through that rib you see. Is that a screw hole in the rib for the chrome piece as well? I've not investigated that part of mine yet.


05-01-2011, 02:45 PM
Hey Scott,
Those shots are from the underside of the frame.

I think you're right the hole for the HFrame seems like it would be inside that rib. I've inspected the front of the frame to try and determine where they are filled in, but the paint is completely smooth and I can't tell where it was filled in. I guess I'll take the measurements you guys gave me and drill an exploratory hole to see.

That small screw hole is for the chrome piece to attach to.

05-02-2011, 12:56 AM

Here are some shots of the bottom side of mine

Driver's side:

Passenger's side:

Passenger's side:

Driver's side (sorry this one is out of focus):