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New Soft Top Installation

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flyingandy Andy J
Munster, USA   USA
Hello again,

I just received my new soft top in the mail and I'm realizing that this is a more tricky job than I expected. I have the new top attached and snapped in, but gluing/riveting/cutting the front part seems like a precision job. Anybody have any tips on getting the right fit? I'm nervous about the top sagging, but I obviously don't want to be so tight that it won't close.

Thank you!

Andy

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cdaubs Avatar
cdaubs Gold Member Charlie Daubs
Redding, CA, USA   USA
1964 Jaguar E-Type "Snowball"
1970 MG MGB
Personally, I think some things are better left to the professionals. Go to an upholstery shop and have it done right the first time. smiling smiley

Naomi Avatar
Naomi Naomi C
Between Greensboro and Roanoke, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB "Kirby"
1979 MG MGB "Bandit"
1980 MG MGB "Robbie"
1995 Mazda Miata Special Edition    & more
Andy my hubby and I have done this several times over the years and as recently as back in the fall for my 80B. Here's a good link for you. Click here >> http://www.wmbgbrit.com/install_new_top_mgb.htm smiling smiley




"1964 MGB" (Kirby) All original pull handle MGB, 3 main, with overdrive, but a daily driver with all the dents and dings to prove it -- Titled in 1965~~

"1980 MGB" (Robbie) Even though it's a RB it does have overdrive, a Weber Carb, and is my favorite MGB. We have logged thousands of happy miles together ~~

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ohlord Avatar
ohlord Gold Member Rob C
North of Seattle, N.W., USA   USA
1957 Land Rover Series I "EYEYIYI"
1971 MG MGB
1971 MG MGB "Bedouin 2"
In the Library
http://www.mgexperience.net/article/soft-top-replacement.html
with pictures.
Tips on Youtube John Twist university motors MGB convertible install.
Youtube video "An MG is born" the whole series is there you just need to find the great one with the top install.



"I'm a long way gone down this wild road I'm on
It's gonna take me where I'm bound
It's a long way around"



"These are the days that must happen to you"

RD2 Radar/ Electronic Warfare Technician
Vietnam 1969-1972

tnrkitect Avatar
tnrkitect Silver Member L. Brian Woodroof
Huntsville, AL, USA   USA
1966 MG MGB MkI "Audrey"
1972 MG MGB
For the video series "An MG is Born" on Youtube, I have collected the episodes in one playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRVg1guPhhhTUGqV_thL7s0eui5ud38eW


The episode with the top installation is Episode 8, specifically Part 3, here:

Naomi Avatar
Naomi Naomi C
Between Greensboro and Roanoke, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB "Kirby"
1979 MG MGB "Bandit"
1980 MG MGB "Robbie"
1995 Mazda Miata Special Edition    & more
Ask and you shall receive winking smiley




"1964 MGB" (Kirby) All original pull handle MGB, 3 main, with overdrive, but a daily driver with all the dents and dings to prove it -- Titled in 1965~~

"1980 MGB" (Robbie) Even though it's a RB it does have overdrive, a Weber Carb, and is my favorite MGB. We have logged thousands of happy miles together ~~

Peter-Sherman Avatar
Peter-Sherman Peter Sherman
Melbourne, Australia   AUS
Have a close look at how the current top is attached.
The part that clips to the windscreen is called an armature. Do not remove the clips from the armature. They have slotted screw holes and you want them to stay right where they are for the time being.

At either end, on the underside, you will see a plastic block. held on with 2 screws. These have two functions. #1 to locate the armature on top of the windscreen pillars and #2 to help install a new top.

Also on the very ends of the armature you will see two dimples/recesses. The forward end of the "wind up window" gutters locate into these. On one end only you will also see a hole drilled. This is for shaking out the old rivets. The rivets that hold the aluminium rubber seal track in place. You must use aluminium rivets because you don't want to corrode or dammage the soft aluminium track and you want to be able to both remove and install the track quickly and easily. You can drill out aluminium rivets far more quickly than trying to unscrew a whole lot of rusted in self tapper wood screws. Instalation is faster as well.

Now take a look at the new top. At the front there is excess material. At the front, just back a little from the corners, are three flaps.
One of those flaps is nicely finished, edges sewn. This is intended to button clip to the top inside of the windscreen pillar. (If infact you install a clip onto it. I don't use mime)
One of these 3 flaps is skinny. The same width as the aluminium track. This one will eventually go under the aluminium track and tidy up the corner.
The final flap is crucial to help instalation and it goes under those plastic blocks.

In the old roof, at the back, is a strip of steel. Transfer this to the new roof. Slide side to side to get it out.
Remove the front rubber seal from its soft aluminium track by pinching it out. Don't try and slide it. You would do well to buy a new seal. Drill out the rivets. Go buy some replacements, and a few the next size up incase some holes have rusted larger. Unscrew the two plastic blocks.
Peal off the old top and shake out the remains of those rivets. Don't be tempted to leave them in the armature. They will rattle and roll around on every corner and drive you nuts and you can't get them out once the top is on without making a hole in it.

Use the plastic blocks and their associated flap (new roof) to locate the window gutters into the dimples on the ends of the armature. Don't worry about creases crinkles and stretch marks at this stage. Get the front of the gutters properly located.
Put the new top onto the car and flop the excess material over the front of the windscreem. Check the gutter fit is to you satisfaction.
Grab a hold of the material in the centre of the windcreen and pull hard. Mark where the front edge of the armature is on the out side with some white chalk or something like.
Take the roof off the car again.

Unscrew one of the plastic blocks, (leave it attached to vinyl roof, ready to reattach to armature) and apply liberal amounts of glue to the front of the armature. This is common contact adhesive, the sort that looks like snot and comes in tins and you paint it on. Vinyl floor tiles etc. On the side of the tin is an instruction to paint it on both surfaces, allow to surface dry, then bring the surfaces together. IGNORE this instruction. Do not wait.
So slap it on and reattach the plastic block with flap under it. The glue will not be dry, it will be slimy so the centre of the roof will slide and slip. If it is not slimy put more on. It will stay reasonably slippy for about 20 minutes (depending on the weather) so waste no time.
Slip the centre to the mark that you made previosly. Then go a little bit past that. Perhaps 1/4" or more or maybe half that. This is a means of insuring that the roof is taut and doesn't sag or have wrinckles. How far you go past the mark is entirely up to you. It will depend on how hard you were pulling when you made the mark, is it a hot day, or a cold day. A judgement call.
Rivet on the aluminium strip. Do not cut off the excess roof yet. Do not forget to place the thin "tidy the ends" flaps under the aluminium strip before applying rivets.
Fit the roof to the car again to check for fit. If you have made a very poor judgment all is not lost. If you have slide past the mark too far you can remove the aluminium strip and adjust. You can let it out about 1/4" without the old holes showing under the edge of the aluminium track. Or if the top is too loose you can tighten it up. The glue should not have set yet. You might have to quickly unscrew the plastic block, peel it off and add new glue. Although you do not want lumps and bumps of glue showing. Have glue scraper, drill, rivet gun and rivets on standyby. Also have at least one spare drill bit.

If you are happy with it then trim the excess and pinch the rubber seal back in. Put it back on the car to admire the work of a skilled hand. Then unclip it again. Although it is pretty sticky after less than half an hour, I suggest that you give the glue 24 hours to set properly. You don't want it slowly slipping out from under the track

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MGBernie Avatar
MGBernie Bernie Allan
Piney Flats, TN, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
Not finished yet but below find a valuable piece of info from Peter Shermans post above, that I have not noticed in other instructions or video:

"At either end, on the underside, you will see a plastic block. held on with 2 screws. These have two functions. #1 to locate the armature on top of the windscreen pillars and #2 to help install a new top."

"Now take a look at the new top. At the front there is excess material. At the front, just back a little from the corners, are three flaps.
One of those flaps is nicely finished, edges sewn. This is intended to button clip to the top inside of the windscreen pillar. (If infact you install a clip onto it. I don't use mime)
One of these 3 flaps is skinny. The same width as the aluminium track. This one will eventually go under the aluminium track and tidy up the corner.
The final flap is crucial to help instalation and it goes under those plastic blocks."

"Use the plastic blocks and their associated flap (new roof) to locate the window gutters into the dimples on the ends of the armature."

All the clamps and tools I have were not satisfactory to correctly locate the top on the "armature", AKA "header rail". Thank you sir,



"OK, so I got down off the porch and ran with the big dogs. Kinda sore now, think I'll just lay here in the flower bed a while...."

'73 MGB

Bernie



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-13 07:38 AM by MGBernie.

firebunkers23 Avatar
firebunkers23 Paul Reyes
Milwaukie, OR, USA   USA
1971 MG MGB
Just wondering if anyone has the measurements for the templates that they use in the video for the attachment hardware. I lost some of the holes when I did my body work and as I wait for my soft top to arrive from Prestige Auto trim I would like to get the studs and mounting points installed.
Thanks ahead of time.
Paul

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