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TR3A convertible top install

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I'm going to try and give a detailed account, here:

I had been postponing this job for over a year.
Primarily because there was no complete professional instructions I could find, in one place.

This top is a Robbins everflex sold by TRF. It was a previous return item so I got it for about $200.00 over a year ago.

Installation is really a pretty simple job & I had installed a tonneau of the same material a while back.
I guess a lot of the procrastination on a job like this is caused by the "no easy way to correct a mistake" aspect of it all.

but everything went well.

First thing you need to do is check all your "lift-the-dot-pins" (rear and sides) &" tenax" pins (front windscreen) for any defects or missing pins.
Note: the top will also put quite a bit of stress on your windscreen & the folding frame, so you will need to inspect these pieces carefully for signs of defects or weakness.

Lay your top out on a large blanket or something to warm up in the sun.

Then position it on the frame & find the center points, front & back (measure twice; cut once philosophy)
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The back seam of many of these Robbins tops have a chalk mark at the dead center.
That is a helpful starting place for the rear. So I made a matching mark on the exact center of the car body (centered on the midline of the gas cap as it happens).
Then I just did a press point on the LTD pins on either side of the dead center & marked with a sharpie.
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I lined up the front with the windscreen & clamped it in place on the outer windscreen frame. The Robbins has a kind of point or tip at the corners of the front material. These happen to line up perfectly with the windscreen glass.
The measurement was exactly 42" across the windscreen inner frame, so I marked the center point at 21" on the top and windscreen frame.

From there I pressed the material against the tenax pins on both sides of dead center, and marked the top with a sharpie.
Note: the front has a double layer of folded material, but you don't necessarily have to deal with the under layer during the fitting process. (Just make sure, when folded into place it lines up with the upper layer and that the flattened "pressed" sections line up with your tenax pins)
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My top came with the correct number of LTD & Tenax fasteners ( each are in two parts, front/back).
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lift-the-dot pieces.

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Tenax pieces.

Tools you will need:
appropriate sized hole punches
( three most likely)
Marker (fine tip sharpie or similar)
Tape measure or measuring device
Med. Heavy Hammer for driving the punch
Tack hammer for setting the LTD clips
Tenax fastening tool
Solid clean work bench
Razor knife with fine tip
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After you have marked the approximate hole location. Use the back plate of the fasteners to aid in positioning the holes. You don't want to be to close to the edge. I lined the plates up against the trim piece along the edge.
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I started with the two front Tenax on either side of center. Mark, template, hole punch ( note here I lined up both front flaps & punched thru both flap layers together. The punch should be the appropriate size to allow the threaded shaft of the tenax to pass thru. Then use a larger punch on the under flap to make connecting to the pins easier.)

When you do your trials make sure you position the holes far enough apart where you have to stretch the material somewhat.
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(note: double layer of front edge, prsumably for added weather stripping)

After holes are punched, insert the tenax button threaded shaft thru the top flap then screw on the bottom, using the tenax tool to tighten down.

The next step will be to place the center rear
Lay the top over the frame(note: do not have frame fully engaged as the top will be to tight to work with.)

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(note: bend in frame elbow)

Attach the two front tenax.
Center Line up the back of the top & mark both pins, left & right of center for the LTD's.
LTD's require a smaller punch, but you need to make the hole at least 3/4" in-board, as LTD's are elongated fasteners and require the hole to be punched further in from the edge .
LTD's are a little more time consuming than tenax.
You must punch the center hole, then using the backplate as a template, mark the four slots where the clips will pass through the material. Using the fine tipped razor knife, cut the 4 small slits.
(note: there is a special punch available just for LTD featuring a main punch & four slits, but it got poor reviews, because it was to hard to drive thru the material).
Push the clips (or spikes) thru the four slits; place the backplate over the spikes & tap down the four spikes with a tack hammer.

after you have two fasteners in the front & two in the back, it's a fairly easy process to mark & punch the next holes moving from opposite sides of the top, back & front. Be sure to pull the material tight before you mark the pin location.
I did two holes at a time, reattaching the top to test fit each time.

once you have all the fasteners in place, attach the top all the way around & gradually raise the frame from inside the car to it's full extension, locking the elbows. ( easier with two people). Allow the top to stay raised for a few days to set it's stretched size.
(I also have left the car outside in the sun to further acclimate the new top quicker)
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Updated 09-20-2016 at 01:14 AM by GTP1960

2015 1960 TR3A project