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TR4/4A Surrey top question

tdskip

Yoda
OK, OK, it’s an aftermarket Surrey top. My question is this – do the fiberglass ones hold up to being used without the top panel? Does having the top center section off but the rear in place actually quiet the cockpit down or dramatically reduce wind buffering etc.? Would you actually drive it for any distance with the rear back light installed but the center top off?

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences, this is new ground for me. Heck, I didn’t even have a top installed on my last TR6!

Thanks
 

charleyf

Jedi Knight
Bronze
Okay I have two TR4's with the surrey top backlight mounted. One has the top on all of the time. The other one has never had the hard top on it yet. I have used the cloth top occasionally. Especially on very long trips. Like from California to Colorado and back. Otherwise for all local driving the top is not on it, that includes drives of 200 miles.
As to the wind, if you have the door windows up the wind is not bad. But if you have the windows down I think the wind is worse than without the back window on the car. I also have shaded visors on the top of the windshield that I use as wind deflectors or at least try to use them that way.
I use the car with the top mounted on it for the winter here (if one can call it winter, it was 70 degrees yesterday). And the one without the top mounted for the summer.
Both of mine are original aluminum frames.
 

poolboy

Yoda
It's my TR6 and a Microplas backlight frame with TripleX glass, but I don't know why the same wouldn't apply to a TR4.
Only on long trips away from home do I install the soft top....it's been like that10 years or more, 4000 miles a year.
I can't comment on any comparisons though...it is what it is and I don't know any different, but it stays in place..and once or twice that was up to 100 mph for about a minute.
TR6 april 2014 003.jpg
 

poolboy

Yoda
Yes, they do deflect the air, at least some of it away from from your face
 

Got_All_4

Luke Skywalker
I've had my fiberglass backlight frame on since 06 and love it. 20+ thousand miles. It has never had the hard section installed or even painted. I carry the Surrey top (that's the proper name for the soft top) with the sticks in the boot all the time so if it threatens rain I'm covered. Just be prepared before the rain comes down because you're getting wet. In fact I think it takes longer to put the Surrey top on then putting the top up for my TR3.
As far as long drives it's great. Took me 3 hours to get to TRFs summer party and like charlyf said about the windows is true. My wife always has her window up. Can't mess up that hair doo!
Another concern too if your car is modified and you have a free flow exhaust you'll appreciate the barrier between you and the tail pipe. Had the back light glass out once and took the car on a good drive and I couldn't wait to get home. Couldn't stand the noise! It really made a difference with the glass in.
 

M_Pied_Lourd

Darth Vader
I’ve got a modified canvas Surrey section that utilizes the front header and latches like a normal soft top would use. Looking forward to seeing how it actually works out once I’ve got the car on the road

Cheers,
Tush
 

Madflyer

Jedi Warrior
This is a good THREAD I have ordered my Back light last year and it came broken and still weighting for replacement for the frame. I did order the hard and soft tops. but without the frame and glass I with out a top. As stated above most of my driving is top down and side glass is up just when cold. ( 1973 TR 6 ) Madflyer
 

Got_All_4

Luke Skywalker
Tush can't wait to see your top. There has to be a better way to fasten it to the windshield frame. Hate it when the front of the Surrey pops up going down the road. I call it the Gomer effect. If it wasn't for the snaps on the side I think it would blow back to the center stick. Been contemplating how to make one myself and or have one made locally. Been a while but read or saw it in some videos online and maybe yours.
 

Madflyer

Jedi Warrior
Where did you get yours? I got mine from revingtonTR and is fiberglass also it does look to be timely to put up. As for the free flow ex. I had it when I built the car and yes I went back to stock after about ten years.
 

poolboy

Yoda
Tush can't wait to see your top. There has to be a better way to fasten it to the windshield frame. Hate it when the front of the Surrey pops up going down the road. I call it the Gomer effect. If it wasn't for the snaps on the side I think it would blow back to the center stick. Been contemplating how to make one myself and or have one made locally. Been a while but read or saw it in some videos online and maybe yours.
Seems like you would, but do you have the special windshield capping strip for the surrey ?
 

Got_All_4

Luke Skywalker
There is a special cap. Just took a pic of it below. The cap sticks out a bit from the frame so the front of the top which has a metal bar sewed into it can attach to it. At times if you don't get it fully under the edge and once you get to 40+ mph it can pull out and flip up like what you would flip the brim up on a baseball hat. Someone at one of he TRF parties showed me where he carries a can of glass cleaner and strays it up the edge for lubricant that eventually flashes off but it helps to get the top tight under the edge. It works too! But I still have to use the pad on my hand to really push it under the lip.
It's a long story how I got mine but it came from a guy in Kentucky that I helped not get schemed from a Ebay seller selling top he didn't have. He happened to stumble onto 2 of them and I got one. But it's a fiberglass one from way back. Took a lot of rebuilding to get it to work because the previous owner had ground off most of the lip that holds the glass in and I had to rebuild that.
 

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charleyf

Jedi Knight
Bronze
Regarding the problem of having the soft top come loose from the windshield. The TR4 windshield cap has some filler material underneath the cap to "lift" the cap enough to fit the top plus metal bars. I replaced the chrome capping and realized that the black filler material was needed. I replaced it with some alternate material. I am guessing that some later windshields may not be constructed the same way.
 

Got_All_4

Luke Skywalker
I used some butyl or AKA dumb dumb underneath the cap. I was concerned that water would get into the frame and rot it out. Been so long but I think I had to replace the frame when I restored the car. Also I remember trying to lift the front edge of the cap up a bit to get the tops edge under it.
 

Madflyer

Jedi Warrior
The one I got from revington TR in the UK has the same front mounting as the regular soft top with the two locking handles. The fabric folds over plate and glued and the tail has a metal pop rivet holding strip and grove for rubber seal like the MG B soft top. It says to add other rubber to hold locking mount square. Madflyer NOTE revington TR sells parts
 

mctriumph

Member
Gold
A fun fact on the hard center panel, Triumph engineers were able to make it leak water
worse than the surrey(soft) top!! The drip rail on the hardtop bring water to the front corner
of the WS post where the little gap in the weather seal ,lets water drip on your foot.
MD
 
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