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Thread: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

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    Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Guys, I am hoping to get some advice on installing a new wooden header and side trim rails on my BJ7 convertible top frame. When I purchased the car, the top was in very poor condition, and all of the wooden pieces were severely damaged and rotten. The metal frame was the only part in relatively good condition, but needs to be repainted. I am finally at a point in my restoration where I am addressing the convertible top.

    In addition to a new Robbins top, web material and seals; I have purchased all new wooden side trim parts and a new header rail.

    I have searched the forum and found a lot of great information on how to replace the actual top, but there is very little on how to adjust and fit new wooden pieces. The top I will be using is identical to a BJ8, because my car is a "late" BJ7.

    I did try to "trial" fit the wooden pieces. The header is pretty self explanatory. But positioning the side pieces properly around the windows so that they fit around the window and create a decent seal is less clear. I feel like they need to be re-shaped or trimmed a bit to match the shape of the windows. My parts came for AH Spares.

    I would really appreciate any guidance on this.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Bill
    Thanks,

    Bill

    1975 Triumph TR6 & 1962 Austin Healey 3000 BJ7

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Hey Bill

    Don't know how helpful this will be, but having said that, I ordered new side wooden pieces for a buddy's early BJ8 from Ahead 4 Healeys, and the fit was so poor that I returned them, with photos of my old ones to demonstrate how rough the fit was. Don't know who their supplier is, but obviously they weren't working from any decent blueprint. We ended up using the old pieces, drilling new wooden dowels into the old holes and glueing new wood into places where the old wood was rotted. We were quite pleased with the end result.

    So if you've kept your old pieces you may wish to go this route. We just didn't have the tools to re-jig the new pieces to fit properly.

    That's it, my friend. Good luck with your project.

    DB

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    David, thank you for the suggestion. I do still have all the old parts, but some are really dry rotted, and 2 are broken. The side pieces were not attached to the frame when I bought the car. I am certain that they are not repairable.
    The parts from AH Spares seem to be of decent quality, but the contours appear to be a mismatch compared to the shape of the back of the roll up windows.
    I am feeling like my best bet is reshape them with a belt sander. Was just wondering if anyone else had a similar experience.
    i appreciate your response.
    Thanks,

    Bill

    1975 Triumph TR6 & 1962 Austin Healey 3000 BJ7

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Bill, I can't offer you any advice at present, but I'm restoring my BJ7 and have just ordered new wood for the top (from Moss). Not to the place where I am working on this yet, but soon may be. Please keep us informed of your progress and any modifications/procedures you use to make them fit.

    Griz

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Open any picture in the album linked below; click on the opened picture will present the same picture in a new window, a second click on that pic will enlarge it to full resolution for greater detail.

    https://spcarsplus.com/gallery3/inde...MKIII/top_work

    I too was able to reuse these (BJ8) pieces, but maybe you'll get some use out of the pictures in the above link..





    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
    99 BMW M Coupe EB w/ ES/TS & 99 M Rdstr BK/BK
    01 BMW M Rdstr Steel Gray Performance Center (factory) Delivery
    16 X5M/DINAN Stg II Mineral White Metallic Wife's 716 hp/702 Lb-ft Turbo Hauler

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Randy, these are a huge help. Thank you for posting them.
    Thanks,

    Bill

    1975 Triumph TR6 & 1962 Austin Healey 3000 BJ7

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Hi Bill, I too had lots of problems aligning the top frame. I had to adjust the windshield for elevation and the side mountings on the frame itself to get a good fit. It was one of the hardest problems I had. Here's some tips; Don't attach the top at the rear until your satisfied with the overall fit. Keep checking the window frames for correct fit. You can use washers to raise the side mounts, just don't tighten until sure of alignment. Oh, and yes you can bend the frame somewhat to fit properly.
    Good luck.

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Thanks for this advice. I needed all new wooden components, and have resigned myself to reshaping the pcs around the door with belt sander. They seem to have come in oversized. I can see that I will need to do some tweaking with the windshield and frame, so your recommendations are a help.
    Thanks,

    Bill

    1975 Triumph TR6 & 1962 Austin Healey 3000 BJ7

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Hey Bill
    I have just finished doing exactly the same thing apart from the new soft top. The old one was in a condition where it was reusable.
    I replaced the top bow (across the screen) and all the side timber.
    i had to rework all of the supplied timber (top bow from AH Spares and the side pieces from Moss). I used the old bits as patterns and then used a small air operated right angle grinder with a 50mm 100 grit Disk to sand - reprofile the new pieces.
    Fortunately I didn't have to add any material, just sand it off. It would seem that to keep the cost down the suppliers have these bits CNC machined and they come out......kind off close but not exact. It did take quite a few hours but all good in the end.
    I then took the side pieces to an auto upholsterer and he covered them in the correct vinyl.
    Use an air powered staple gun when attaching the front of the hood to the top bow, the ash (I think that is what the wood is) timber is quite hard.
    once the side timbers had been reprofiled and I was happy, I worked on the frame to try and get the side window gaps as little and as equal as possible. This did take days, as I would mount every thing and check it and then remove it all and use oxy actelene plant to heat and bend. I probably had the top on and off a dozen times or so. Once happy, I sent it in for powder coating to as close to the correct light grey as I could get.
    I replaced the light grey straps with a safety belt product that cost me about $5.00 from a wholesale supply house.
    I am vey happy with the final outcome
    cheers
    Mike

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    Re: Advice on Wooden Header and Side Trim Rails for a BJ7 Convertible Top

    Bill, Forgot to say that after the machine reprofiling there was a lot of hand sanding to about 400 grit I think.
    The cut out area on the side pieces that allow the frame to sit well needed quite a bit of timber removal with a dermel and different bits and then sanding drum and then finishing with sand paper. I then sprayed it all with rattle can gloss clear epoxy from memory.
    cheers
    Mike

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