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Retrofit my 1963 MGB stowaway top and frame.

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jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
Can I retrofit my 1963 MGB stowaway top and frame with a foldaway top and frame?

I am tired of taking my top and frame out of my trunk, out of their bags, and then putting both on my car. This has to be the worst convertible top assembly ever designed. It can take 15 minutes or more to assemble and install this type of convertible top. I’m an old guy and this isn’t fun anymore.

I have heard it is possible to purchase for an early model MGB, a new frame and top that will fold down.

Can you still use a tonneau when the top is folded down?

Thanks,

Jim Walton

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MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
Yes you can swap the later foldaway for the stowaway but you can't use the stowaway top. There's many discussions here on top swapping but basically you buy the top to suit the bows (frame).



Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell with VW Golf flared guards, flush fit front and rear valances with front guards immovable. Front and rear seams removed,Torana XU1 vents, frenched indicators front & Mk1 rear lights. Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimaera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. All new interior with MrMikes covers on MX5 seats. Retro4 7x15 rims (zero offset) and 205/55 rubber. Colour: Jaguar Storm. Not for sale - it's my sanity!

jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
I glad to hear a retrofit is possible. I will call Moss tomorrow and inquire what parts I need to order. I checked the Moss catalog and did not see any listings.

Jim Walton

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JohnyMc Avatar
JohnyMc John McFarlane
Mossman, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Then you should, as suggested do a search first to familiarize yourself with what is required rather than expect Moss to know everything about it.

Wouldn't that be prudent?



Semi retired Auto Electrician with over 44 years experience. Specializing in pre 1975 car electrical systems. Trained on early Lucas, Bosch and Magnetti Marelli systems.
Australian Auto Electrician actively rebuilding and calibrating early Lucas and Delco Remy 1/2/3 bobbin regulators, Lucas generators/alternators (including 3rd brush and generator/starters) and magnetos. Large supply of original Lucas 1960 and 1970's parts to suit British cars (assembled and/or exported).

Available for guidance/assistance via email.

But be warned......I'm an grumpy old fart. I take no shit from people too lazy to do a preliminary search of the forum.
Nor do I appreciate wasting time providing suggestions towards a solution to then have you ignore them because you have to do some investigative work, in favour of a possible solution from a friend of a friend of a friend who once upon a time was a gardener with a shifting spanner and a set of pliers and somehow fixed their glowing ignition lamp with a piece of surgical tape, speck of moon dust and a rusty razor blade.

You get my drift?

jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
I will take your advise.

Thanks,

Jim Walton

MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
I retrofitted a foldaway to my MK1 but because of roll cage height issues have reverted back to my stowaway/packaway. You see those two receptacles on top of your B pillar? Well you don't need those as the foldaway has its own attachment point which screws into the three screw holes. I found I needed to use flush fit CS screws as the OEM fouled the folding mechanism. I think some folks keep the chrome pocket which presumably allows for retaining the tonneau bars but IDK. Unless you are quite DIY or have an upholstery shop in mind buy a top with a header rail already fitted - Moss sells such an option but many of us just DIY (and buy tops from the UK trim houses). You should also search best tops.



Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell with VW Golf flared guards, flush fit front and rear valances with front guards immovable. Front and rear seams removed,Torana XU1 vents, frenched indicators front & Mk1 rear lights. Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimaera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. All new interior with MrMikes covers on MX5 seats. Retro4 7x15 rims (zero offset) and 205/55 rubber. Colour: Jaguar Storm. Not for sale - it's my sanity!

mgbanthony Avatar
mgbanthony Platinum Member Anthony Henderson
Gananoque, ON, Canada   CAN
1962 MG MGB
1962 MG MGB
1970 MG MGB GT
1974 MG MGB
The 71-80 black folding frame is the easiest way out as far as usability. A used one should be available and will save you $ over a new one. You will need to retain the chrome tonneau pockets or the frame won’t fit properly and bind. The black frame installs on top of them. You will need longer 1/4” posidrive head bolts to assemble the frame to the car.

The Moss zip out rear window top with the header rail installed is the best top going. The quality, fit and ease of installation will be appreciated long after the cost is forgotten...and no one will snicker at the creases, wrinkles, sags and gapping so prevalent with self installed budget tops...there are rows of them at every MG show.

jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
Sorry to hear you had to revert back to the stowaway type. I have always tried to avoid using my stowaway. I kept a golf umbrella for emergencies. I think my top has been on the car maybe 6 times in the last 24 years. Actually it has been so long since the last time, the top has shrunk. It is no longer usable. Letting the sun heat it doesn't help. It's trash. Being a new top in order, I wanted to investigate installing a top that would not be such a pain.

Thanks for your advise.

Jim

mvheim Avatar
mvheim Silver Member Mark Heim
CA, USA   USA
1966 MG MGB "Uroboros"
Those receptacles, as you call then, are also used for the tonneau bars. Do foldaway top cars not use tonneau bars? It seems to me the tonneau or boot cover would look pretty sloppy.

In reply to # 3888230 by MGB567 I retrofitted a foldaway to my MK1 but because of roll cage height issues have reverted back to my stowaway/packaway. You see those two receptacles on top of your B pillar? Well you don't need those as the foldaway has its own attachment point which screws into the three screw holes. I found I needed to use flush fit CS screws as the OEM fouled the folding mechanism. I think some folks keep the chrome pocket which presumably allows for retaining the tonneau bars but IDK. Unless you are quite DIY or have an upholstery shop in mind buy a top with a header rail already fitted - Moss sells such an option but many of us just DIY (and buy tops from the UK trim houses). You should also search best tops.



Max Heim
'66 MGB California Melee 2006 & 2014 (passed along to another enthusiast)
'66 MGB (just launched)

jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
Thanks Anthony, this is where I will start. I will update as I progress.

Thanks,

Jim

mvheim Avatar
mvheim Silver Member Mark Heim
CA, USA   USA
1966 MG MGB "Uroboros"
Just to clarify matters, a foldaway top was an option from the very first MGB. Over the years they went through a couple of different frame designs. You can use a different frame than the one "correct" for your year (with a few caveats), but you need to buy a top that matches the frame you are using. Anthony is recommending the 71-80 as the best design. You would probably have a hard time finding a correct 1963 frame, anyway.



Max Heim
'66 MGB California Melee 2006 & 2014 (passed along to another enthusiast)
'66 MGB (just launched)

jimathome Avatar
jimathome Jim Walton
Columbus, GA, USA   USA
The 71-80 is certainly the one I will purchase.

Thanks,

Jim

MGB567 Avatar
MGB567 Gold Member Barrie Braxton
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia   AUS
1966 MG MGB MkI "Money Guzzler"
1979 MG MGB GT V8 Conversion "Darkside"
"You will need to retain the chrome tonneau pockets or the frame won’t fit properly and bind. The black frame installs on top of them. You will need longer 1/4” posidrive head bolts to assemble the frame to the car. "

Must be why I had to change my fasteners.


"Sorry to hear you had to revert back to the stowaway type. I have always tried to avoid using my stowaway. I kept a golf umbrella for emergencies. I think my top has been on the car maybe 6 times in the last 24 years"

Don't be (sorry that is). My replacement stowaway Prestige top has sat on my spare bed since I bought it some 5 years ago. One day I'll get around to having the replacement header rail fitted and then erecting it.



Convertible: CKD 11/66 first registered 8/5/67. Owned since 3/77. 90% original sheet metal. 18GB +40 balanced with almost all new internals. Peter Burgess big valve fast road head. Piper 285. Fidanza FW. Basil's followers and pushrods. TR7clutch. TT exhaust. ARP everywhere. 123 ign. Needham 4synchro c/r box.. Stock rebuilt/replaced suspension. Superpro bushes. New brakes all round including all pipes in SS flex. Interior redone. CAMS approved roll bar and side bars. Lots more. Hybrid of o/e and show/fast road car. Not for sale - it's my toy!

GT: UK car built/sold December '78. Stripped back to bare shell with VW Golf flared guards, flush fit front and rear valances with front guards immovable. Front and rear seams removed,Torana XU1 vents, frenched indicators front & Mk1 rear lights. Powered by 'worked' Rover 5 litre V8 (ex TVR Chimaera) with efi. T5 box. FC IFS. CCE rear attached to Salisbury axle with Quaife. All new interior with MrMikes covers on MX5 seats. Retro4 7x15 rims (zero offset) and 205/55 rubber. Colour: Jaguar Storm. Not for sale - it's my sanity!

stuntflyr Avatar
stuntflyr Chris McMillin
Catalina, Foothills, USA   USA
Jim,
I like my stowaway. It has a lot of head room. I know how it is with not using equipment or changing options, though. I used my top for 5 years straight, swapped to the tonneau for 2 years, now I have a hardtop and I don't know if I'll ever take it off!
Anyway, Anthony's Michelotti top bow idea is the best in my opinion too. I was always envious of a friend that had that system. His was a '72 and it had very easy operation like a Fiat 124.
Chris...
P.S. Your car is really good looking.

chasloew Charles Loew
Fort Wayne, USA   USA
1954 MG TF 1500
1976 MG MGB
I've had all 3 designs and liked the stow-away the best. Mostly, I liked having the option of using the shelf area behind the seats for storage. The Michelotti on my '76 is a bear to put up and down, but it's mostly due to a few loose rivets and perhaps some bending, coupled with fabric that either shrank or had the snaps improperly installed. I bought a hardtop, so it may not get much use. If you want to sell your stow-away frame, please let me know.

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