Hardtop Project

Tech tips and how to's

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FergO2k
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by FergO2k »

Much more inherent stiffness in a hardtop than soft top, so 2 clips will be fine, it doesn't want to become (aka: can't become) a parachute like a soft-top.
I have seen several hardtops running with only the side clips bound up nice and firm, no front clips at all.
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Alvin
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Alvin »

onsight512 wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:14 pm Since there's been so much talk about different hardtops in this thread, I'm going to ask this here.

Does anyone know if a Smoothline hardtop, for a high windshield car, only has two attachment points to the windshield? I have one local to me that's for sale. It fits on the car, but there are only two "j-bolts" on either side of the top. I know the car normally has one in the middle also.
I don't think the Smoothline hardtops come with any OEM mounting hardware. I would contact Shannon "sfdaugherty" as he has personal experience with these tops:
http://www.311s.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.ph ... 92#p242092

That being said, a high windshield top has three windshield attachment points, and I would use all three, not two.
The "j" bolts are for the side mounts, where normally the soft top frame would mount.

Pics from jhayden's high windshield:
Image
Image
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RussellC
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by RussellC »

I think there is a bit of confusion regarding the smoothline hard tops.
The one I own is a new smoothline top not yet painted for installation. I can confirm that it comes with the J hooks for the sides as well as the same type of J hook for the left front and right front receivers on the high windshield. Shannon let me know that he modified his smoothline, as seen in Alvin's pictures, to use the OEM hardware by welding them on. I would like to do the same but don't have the skills required ;)
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Alvin
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Alvin »

RussellC wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:11 pm I think there is a bit of confusion regarding the smoothline hard tops.
The one I own is a new smoothline top not yet painted for installation. I can confirm that it comes with the J hooks for the sides as well as the same type of J hook for the left front and right front receivers on the high windshield. Shannon let me know that he modified his smoothline, as seen in Alvin's pictures, to use the OEM hardware by welding them on. I would like to do the same but don't have the skills required ;)
Yeah, count me in as confused. Maybe there should be a separate thread dedicated to Smoothline tops. To clarify, if you have a Smoothline top, you don't have to use OEM top latches to mate with the windshield receivers?
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Bigtaku »

It would be nice if we had a separate thread for each type of top. They are all so different.
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Alvin »

Absolutely gutted. Dropped my hardtop onto the garage floor on Thursday night.

Here's what happened.
Was getting ready for a cold, wet Friday am drive to visit Edmark up in S.F. to check out his roadsters. Asked my little brother to help me unbag and lift the hardtop off the carrier to the roadster. In the midst of resting the top back onto the carrier after the cover was removed it slipped, kicked out the carrier beneath and landed paint-side down on the epoxied garage floor.

Beyond dying inside. I collected myself and we lifted it right-side up and onto the roadster to assess the damage. It was worse than I thought.
Image
Image

Deep scratches and bits embedded over rear window's edge:
Image

But wait...it gets even better!
I noticed that the rear window seal looks a bit off, like the bottom part of the glass is not seated within the weatherstrip...so I'm pushing on it to get the glass to sit inside strip...push harder, a little bit more...POP! whole glass comes out and lands inside car. Thankfully glass did not break,

Image

I was so defeated that I bailed on Edmark. I had to sort out the top. I thought about using some ScratchX to get rid of the scuff marks. Dragging a fingernail revealed some mighty deep cuts and shards of stuff. Going out for a drive now. Every time I think about the top I get upset.
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sfdaugherty
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by sfdaugherty »

I’m so sorry Alvin. It will be beautiful again!

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theunz
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by theunz »

While that really sucks Alvin, I remember that the top wasn’t so pretty when you got it and I’m sure you’ll return it to its former glory.
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by C.Costine »

That is too bad, but look at it this way: Is it really any more than two trips to the body shop?
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Bigtaku »

I have been amazed several times what a good wet sand and buffing can accomplish. Doesn't hurt to try. I know one thing after you do it, it won't look nearly as bad, maybe even good.
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Gregs672000
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Gregs672000 »

Was really sad to see this Alvin. Yours is the only top (type I guess, but in general) that I like on the car. As others said, take a breath (or 5), see what your car contacts suggest for repair, and know that it will be. I recently scratched the crap out of the rear fender edge on my car when the garbage can lid slipped out of my hands and dragged itself across the car. Some medium buffing compound followed by swirl remover followed by the new Turtle Wax ceramic hybrid wax I'm using and they were gone. Perhaps not as deep as some of yours, but I'm sure careful work and maybe some well blended touch up paint will do wonders. Good luck, and I'm sure you'll post before and after pics!
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GeoffM
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by GeoffM »

That's a big oof, Alvin! I cringed when I saw those photos.

I'm sure with a little work it will be good as new.
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Alvin
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Alvin »

Went for that drive to cool off.
Image

Took hardtop to shop on Monday to have it checked out. Same guy who painted it in 2008.
He wasn't sure if it needed to a full repaint or not. In addition to the scratches and embedded junk, there was also a dent somewhere near the window edge from the impact. He also asked me what paint code black it was, before asking me if he painted it :lol:
Man, it's been almost 14 years!
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FergO2k
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by FergO2k »

14 years of handling and on/offs! You did well.
Just my opinion, but black, red, and white are the easiest to fair in, wet sand and polish an area into the surroundings.

That cool down picture lines the windshield and rollbar with the curb, and brick line with the door top, good eye there.
Upsetting, but easily rectified.
Fergus O
69 2L, SUs (driver, not susceptible to polish)
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Alvin
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Re: Hardtop Project

Post by Alvin »

FergO2k wrote: Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:17 pm 14 years of handling and on/offs! You did well.
Just my opinion, but black, red, and white are the easiest to fair in, wet sand and polish an area into the surroundings.

That cool down picture lines the windshield and rollbar with the curb, and brick line with the door top, good eye there.
Upsetting, but easily rectified.
Thanks Ferg, when you put it that way I don't feel as bad. I can live with a user error once every 14 years :D
I'm not going to worry about the top until January. Will update then.
Alvin Gogineni
San Jose, CA
1967.5 SPL/SR20
1997 Acura Integra GS-R
2013 Prius V wagon
zcarblog.com
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My SR20 Build Thread