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supporting BE tonneau cover during heavy rains

twas_brillig

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Our tonneau settles under the weight of the water during a rainstorm, tugging the 'sides' away from the doors. I expect that it has stretched a bit over the years and will continue stretching until such time as water will start flowing over the edge of the tonneau and down the insides of the doors. Any suggestions as to approaches to supporting the tonneau so less water accumulates? Thanks, Doug
 

Jim_Gruber

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X2
Bill’s advice easiest and simplest.
 
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twas_brillig

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Found a (approximate) 20 inch dia/64" circumference exercise ball in the basement and it does the trick; still need to pick up a twin for the second seat.
I bought a couple of 16 inch beach balls and they were too small; will try putting some scrap foam rubber on the seat to see if I can space the 16 inch up enough, as a quick search didn't turn up any 20" inflatable beach balls locally, and the dang exercise balls are a lot bulkier when it comes time to store them. Doug
 

Stan Kowznofski

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IIRC there was a 2 piece tubular bar that slipped into the sockets right behind the seats (where the top bows fit) that supported the cover at that point. It also allowed the cover to be taken off the seat area, draped over the bar and attached to the bulkhead behind the seats when driving. This might be Moss part numbers 453-605 and 453-635 but I would think something similar could be fabricated for a lot less money.
 

Stan Kowznofski

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I'm not sure, but if the bugeye has the sockets on each side for the top frame I'd certainly look at fabricating some kind of bow. Perhaps electrical conduit or pvc pipe & fittings. Even if it doesn't have the sockets I think I would still prefer a little fabrication time over a pair of beach balls, just looks more professional.
 
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twas_brillig

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The cockpit on the non-BE Spridgets is longer than our BE, so presumably would benefit from an additional support. Our cockpit ends right behind the seats - the exercise ball looks like the best equivalent to the later series tonneau support. Now, if someone also has suggestions to keep water getting under the edges or through the zipper, t'would be appreciated. We had a lot rain up until a week back, and she's a wee bit dampish inside. Doug
 

Stan Kowznofski

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Is there a way to add a snap or two on each side, perhaps splitting the run into thirds which would help keep it taut? Or, at the risk of stating the obvious, don't park it in the rain.
 
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twas_brillig

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I like the 'don't park it in the rain'. I'd rather not change anything on the body. One thing I'd been thinking originally was just to cut a piece of 1x6 to an appropriate length and slip it in under the tonneau and rest it on the tops of the doors.
I took a 16 inch beach ball and two chunks of foam rubber, maybe 3.5" thick each, and put them all on the driver's seat this evening and it looks good (so to speak). There's a chance of a thunderstorm tonight or tomorrow evening, so a chance to test. Also sprayed the zipper with a silicone spray to help keep it slidin'; doubt if there's any waterproofing involved.
The foam is two chunks that I'd cut to roughly the size of the seat cushions in the past, to provide a bit more cushioning for long rides. Doug
 
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