High Windshield soft top question

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MSmethers
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High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

Hey all, I'm in the process of repairing/restoring my forward soft top bow for my 70 1600. It had a previously applied replacement top on it, clamps in the wrong locations, typical crack in the middle, wrinkled on the bottom, dented and slide hammer holes in the top. A layer of cracked bondo fell out after stripping the top off.
Anyway after the initial test fit (poor and bowed up on the ends), I split the can in half, flattened out the bottom, hammer and dollied the dents. Refitted and fit the contours well. Then welded the crack, added a reinforcement across the middle, and tack welded back together.
With the frame on the car, and bow bolted to the frame, when closed and latched, the bow overhangs the windshield by 1/2" to 5/8".

Image

This one you can see the overhang.
Image

Image

As I've never looked at the way the bow fits to the windshield frame on another High Windshield from this perspective, Is the overhang normal? Where is the adjustment besides the 4 bolts that bolt the bow to the frame? or is that it?

Oh, and BTW, I've taken pictures through the entire process and will post a thread documenting the way I went about fixing a moderately beat-up bow for those wishing to attempt this on their own.

TIA
Marshal
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sunbeam590
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by sunbeam590 »

It looks like its about an inch to far for ward, but is hard to tell from Pic, whats the blue plastic or whatever, get rid of that and move it back so centre is flush with screen then take and post a couple more pics, but something is out of whack. I would concentrate on getting it positioned in the right place before attaching it to the bows, then cut and shut the bows to suit. just my 2 cents..
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MSmethers
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

Thanks Kevin, the blue is just a single layer of masking tape to protect the paint. My thoughts are the weather stripping will take up any unevenness. The bow sits fine until I pull the clamps dowm tight. The center one specifically, as I'm rolling it over center, it pulls the bow forward. Kinda got me perplexed. Gotta get it sorted, I'm expecting a call from the top installer just about any day.
Thanks again.
Drive it like you stole it!
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1970 SPL 311
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1999 Pontiac Firebird
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nismou20
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by nismou20 »

Maybe you just don't have enough tension on the frame without the soft Top? With top installed I'm sure some tension will pull back the assy but how much I'm not sure.
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MSmethers
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

nismou20 wrote:Maybe you just don't have enough tension on the frame without the soft Top? With top installed I'm sure some tension will pull back the assy but how much I'm not sure.
That's possible, but the center clamp seems to be self aligning the bow. Once clamped, there is zero movement in the bow. It doesn't seem like tension from the top would be enough to hold it from moving forward. As forceful as it moves forward, I would be concerned about pulling the posts and twisties out of the body.
Drive it like you stole it!
http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x255 ... %20SPL311/
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1999 Pontiac Firebird
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spl310
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by spl310 »

Do you have the spacer on the center latch?
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pebbles
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by pebbles »

The center latch also has a square peg that slips into a square hole on the rear viewy receiver. are those mated?
Looks like the bow needs to be tipped up in the rear.
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MSmethers
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

spl310 wrote:Do you have the spacer on the center latch?
Yup. Whomever put the lasr top on it had the spacer under the right clamp, and the center one in the left position. Bent the tab and the pivot roll pin in the clamp assembly. Got that squared away and everything in the right location.
Drive it like you stole it!
http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x255 ... %20SPL311/
1970 SPL 311
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1999 Pontiac Firebird
1995 GMC Sierra 1500
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MSmethers
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

pebbles wrote:The center latch also has a square peg that slips into a square hole on the rear viewy receiver. are those mated?
Looks like the bow needs to be tipped up in the rear.
It's tipped up as far as it will go. Peg slips into mirror no problem. I'm out of ideas, thus this thread. Please keep the suggestions coming.
Drive it like you stole it!
http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x255 ... %20SPL311/
1970 SPL 311
1967 Pontiac GTO
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1995 GMC Sierra 1500
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nismou20
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by nismou20 »

There is also the reinforcement metal strip that sandwiches soft top material to front of bow. And of course the weatherstrip that takes up some of the void.
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by pebbles »

Maybe the platenut was welded in too high originally, which led up to the wrecked header?

Image
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MSmethers
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by MSmethers »

pebbles wrote:Maybe the platenut was welded in too high originally, which led up to the wrecked header?

Image
That's definitely possible. I have nothing to compare it too.

After further investigation, I found the bow was being pushed forward by the upper windshield trim piece. I removed it, and things got a little better. I also enlarged the holes where the frame mounts to the bow which allowed me to rock the bow forward a bit. Finally I hammer and dollied the leading edge of the bow down across the entire windshield and around the corners.
After all that it still overhangs the front by 1/4 inch or so. It is centered and the gap is consistent. Pretty close to flush with the windshield gasket.

I'm admitting defeat at this point and calling it good. It appears in this situation, perfection is unattainable. Now to weld up all the holes and spot welds that were cut, and bodywork the piece.

Thanks for all the input and suggestions fellas.
Drive it like you stole it!
http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x255 ... %20SPL311/
1970 SPL 311
1967 Pontiac GTO
1999 Pontiac Firebird
1995 GMC Sierra 1500
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by sunbeam590 »

Just been out to shed and mine overhangs by 1/2 inch. so you should be fine with that.. Cheers
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spl310
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by spl310 »

It needs to overhang slightly to allow for the material from the top which wraps around it...
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Re: High Windshield soft top question

Post by Bigtaku »

Does anyone know how thick the center factory spacer is? My car came with a homemade spacer.
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