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Hardtop winter project.

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SammyRye Avatar
SammyRye Richard H
Ladysmith, WI, USA   USA
FYI - I called Snug Top, too, and they had no clue as to what was originally made. They only make pickup bed covers and the like now - none of the old weatherstrip or anything laying around.

Jeff - Looking at the photos of your "Custom Hardtops" model, it's exactly like my Snug Top - except - I noticed in your 11th photo looking through the rear window, it looks like there are two latches that secure the top to the rear body. Is that correct?

I found that my top fit like crap and wouldn't seal well, even if "jacked down" with the J-bolts. So, I'm reworking the rear portion (it's only fiberglass, right? What can go wrong!) Am looking at Steele Rubber for a better replacement weatherstrip, and plan to modify the top around the side window openings so they seal better. When I get a little more progress, I'll take some photos to post.

Rich

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Homerr Avatar
Homerr Jeff Kogut
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
1966 MG Midget MkII "Sold!"
1970 MG Midget MkIII "Midget On A Spit"
1971 MG Midget MkIII "The Donor"
1975 MG Midget MkIV "General MG"
Rich, those latches that can be seen through the rear window are the soft top latches that go to the windshield header. The only body attachment is the brackets right behind the doors.

mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
Richard
I have a fair amount of experience working with fiberglass cloth and resin. You can get an exact match of the top to the rear of your car.
Prepare the top by removing everything off of the edge of the top. Then grind off the gelcoat on the edge. You want a rough surface. You could even drill some small holes in the edge. The rough surface and holes will help the resin stick to the top. Clean the edge of the top with acetone. Any place on the top along the edge that you don't fiberglass to stick to coat with mold release wax. Next take off all the trim pieces, fittings, etc on the car. Then put a liberal coating of mold release wax all over the car where the top fits and out a couple of inches. Other paste waxes will also work but mold release wax works the best. Next Position the top on the car where you want it to fit. You can put a spacer between the top and the car in a couple of places if you need to. Liberal coating of mold release wax on the spacers.
Now the fun begins. You need to mix up what is called "ding repair" by surfers. I did lots of ding repair on my son's surfboards when he was growing up. Basically ding repair is polyester resin mixed with small cut up pieces of fiberglass cloth. It doesn't matter what type of cloth you use. By small I mean small.slivers of the cloth cut off the edge of the cloth. You will need a fair amount to have enough to go all around the edge of the top. You have to do this before you mix the resin because you won't have enough working time before the resin kicks off to do it after mixing the resin. Use the correct amount of catalyst to resin. Or just a little less. Don't use more because the resin will kick off too quickly and can be brittle if you use too much catalyst. This is a case where more is not better. Now mix the cut up cloth with the resin. You want to end up with a gooey paste. Keep adding cloth until you do. Now you can either push the paste into the gap between the top and the car or lift the top up slightly, put the paste onto the car and set the top down onto the paste. This is real messy. I would cover the rest of the car and the floor. i don't know how it happens but resin tends to get everywhere. You don't have much working time Probably 10 minutes, maybe 15 from the time you mix the resin to when it kicks off. So work quickly. You are not trying to have a nice finish at this time. You just want a blob of fiberglass stuck to the edge of the top. Final shaping comes later. When the resin starts to gel it won't stick to anything. Once you are done go have your favorite beverage and wait a couple of hours.
The resin will have kicked off and will be starting to cure. It will be solid at this time. Might be a little rubbery. That's ok. I would take the top off the car, remove the spacers and set it someplace out of the way for at least a day or two for the resin to cure. You now want to clean up the car and your garage. Any stray resin will be easier to remove before it has fully cured.
Do the finish work on the new edge. You can fill in where the spacers were with more ding repair. The edge of the top should now be a perfect match to the car.
I am sure that there are other ways to do this. This is just the way that I would do it.

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Homerr Avatar
Homerr Jeff Kogut
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
1966 MG Midget MkII "Sold!"
1970 MG Midget MkIII "Midget On A Spit"
1971 MG Midget MkIII "The Donor"
1975 MG Midget MkIV "General MG"
I saw another piece of this puzzle today. I was at a guy's house buying some parts and he had a 'Snugtop by Custom Hardtops' version of what I have, looked the same other than the badge. However, he had the pieces I am missing. There is a bracket that is the same size and shape as the one attached to the top, but there is a bolt that goes through it to replace one of the convertible top mounting plate screws. The side that attaches to the bracket on the top itself is another bolt with a nylon bush that can slip in the elongated slot.

Ignore the red part, he thought it was part of the top hardware but later determined it was a retrofit seatbelt shoulder harness mount that also would go on the convertible top mounting plate but it interferes with the Snugtop bracket.


Attachments:
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20170817_183153.jpg

77Midget Avatar
77Midget Y.. Lee
western, USA   USA
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Some Friend"
1998 Lincoln Mark Lt "Mark VIII"
2002 Subaru Forester "Suba Too"
2006 Honda Civic "Civic"    & more
Hello All,
I finally made some progress.
do not Ignore the red part... That is where you attach the top...
I used a long threaded bolt, spring, washers and nuts.



Its a nice tight fit.

I finally had a chance to work with the gasket.
Top (wider opening) to lexan.; thinner to top (only one layer of fiberglass).



I used a heat gun to bend the corners (low heat on the gasket).


Fitting on the car is not complete. I had to fight to get it in so far.
i have the top, left and a bit of the lower left in place, but can not get the lower right corner to go.

I will try to remove the top and bend out the bottom of the top to see if i can make it fit.

One that is done, i will try to put in the lock strip into the gasket.



Any suggestions are welcome...

mickri Chuck Losness
Squaw Valley, CA, USA   USA
Try Armoral (sp??) on the gasket. It will make everything very slippery.

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
I’ve been following this thread for a while now (since I also own a SnugTOP). I don’t think you’ve gotten to it yet, but when you start looking at the seals around the door windows I’d be interested to know. Mine are quickly disintegrating and I’ve been looking for a suitible replacement for a year now (with no luck).

Keep up the great work - it’s really starting to come together.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

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77Midget Avatar
77Midget Y.. Lee
western, USA   USA
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Some Friend"
1998 Lincoln Mark Lt "Mark VIII"
2002 Subaru Forester "Suba Too"
2006 Honda Civic "Civic"    & more
Hello All,
SUCCESS! The Lexan is in! smileys with beer

Well after fighting with this for a few days, I gave up and went to see my local glass shop. The same shop who had sold me the Lexan.

They told me that they would do it. I took it in this morning and its done!

costs: around $70 total (lexan: 50 & labor 20).

plus:
K1179-25 $40.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NL48HSE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl
LK937-25 $15.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NL48VUS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl
about $57 and free shipping with prime
Note: since i did not need all of this, i was able to share some of this cost with another forum member. (see above).





next:
I am going to try to use the same molding over the windshield and attach the clamps.


Thomas,
i asked about the glass shop for suggestions about how to seal around the windows. They said i should look for an L shaped seal...

Y.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-10 12:58 PM by 77Midget.

CountBasey Avatar
CountBasey Thomas Basey
Brunswick, OH, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "Opus"
Looks great (a lot like mine). Guess I should give you a warning for the first time you have the hard top on and go for a drive in the sun - the sun visors will be an issue. Those big metal clamps in the front work fine behind the visors when the visor is in the "up" position, but when you try to pull them down to block the sun, the back of the visor hits the metal clamp and causes the visor to pop-out of the holder. At least, that's what happens with mine spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Not a high priority, but I've kept my eye open for other clamps that might be smaller/thinner. Haven't seen any yet.



Thomas (Count) Basey
Member of Emerald Necklace MG Register - www.mgcleveland.com
________________________________________________________

“With each replacement of parts, my British car slowly becomes Chinese.”

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Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
Looks Good Y.

For side seals check Macgregor. They can send samples.

http://www.macgregorukcarparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=MSS-fhard-top



Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA

Bondkbond Avatar
Bondkbond Silver Member Kurt Bernhardt
Tomah, WI, USA   USA
Well if I'd a bought my midget sooner and been in this site, I could've helped you out on it. Been a glazier for 33 years. Looks good! Is it M.R. polycarbonate?

77Midget Avatar
77Midget Y.. Lee
western, USA   USA
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Some Friend"
1998 Lincoln Mark Lt "Mark VIII"
2002 Subaru Forester "Suba Too"
2006 Honda Civic "Civic"    & more
Thank you all,
Rich,
i just ordered these from ebay. I like the idea of a white seal...

I'm going to try them out.
Ill keep you posted...

Y.


Attachments:
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pstrip2in.jpg

77Midget Avatar
77Midget Y.. Lee
western, USA   USA
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Some Friend"
1998 Lincoln Mark Lt "Mark VIII"
2002 Subaru Forester "Suba Too"
2006 Honda Civic "Civic"    & more
thanks Kurt,
The label said "Makrolon."
I was told it's Lexan.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-10 02:08 PM by 77Midget.

Bondkbond Avatar
Bondkbond Silver Member Kurt Bernhardt
Tomah, WI, USA   USA
Yuup Lexan is actually a brand name but it's regular polycarbonate. They make a polycarbonate called MR.(Mar resistant) . Mo money's tho!.

77Midget Avatar
77Midget Y.. Lee
western, USA   USA
1977 MG Midget 1500 "Some Friend"
1998 Lincoln Mark Lt "Mark VIII"
2002 Subaru Forester "Suba Too"
2006 Honda Civic "Civic"    & more
Update,


I just received the seal i intended to use for the windows
(ebay: White Trim 60" Rubber Seal Strip P Shaped Weatherstrip Window Lock EPDM Edge)
Its not quite big enough for the window gap. So, i am going to use it on the header. It looks like it will work. I will need to trim the excess...






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