The comments contained herein are the sole opinions of the contributors, and should be used with appropriate consideration of possible errors of omission, commission, or lack of sufficient information.

Section Editor - Larry Paulick

Section O - Body
Page 6

Hard Top (Page A)

> Subject: hardtop headliner
> Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 07:42:23 PDT
> From: "Fraser,Ron"-
>Can anybody tell me which one is #1 (front), etc. to #4 (back). Length
>and/or color would be fine. At least I've figured out which is the front
>and back.
> Jim Pickard B9473298


I found this info in a CAT newsletter Volume 10 - #7. Headliner bows front to rear;

Since my headliner was out, I also checked those bows.

I hope this is correct .
Still restoring my hardtop after all these years.

Ron Fraser

Subject: Hard Top Headliner
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 11:58:36 +0100
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-

I am installing new headliner in my Tiger hard top. The P.O. had inserted the leading edge of the liner UNDER the separate metal strip, and pop-riveted the strip to the top. The strip is currently the visible "finisher" to the front headliner position.

I am sure that the headliner is meant to be folded under this strip, and that it should not be seen. I have been offered advise to lay the headliner in front of the top, wrong side up, and pop-rivet the strip through the material, then fold it back to the rear. There should be, I'm told, a cloth piece in here to wrap the sharp edge.

There are no instructions with the new material, or "cloth strip pad". and nothing in any of the manuals, guides, and Shop Notes I have on this subject.

I am a little uncomfortable about knowing just where to align the piece before pop-riveting it upside-down (presumably I'm doing this off the car with the top upside down on a pad.

Any advice by those who have done this job?

BTW: What cement did you use on the rear edge and under the window rubber.
Any advice on some foam pad between the bows?

Steve Laifman - B9472289

Subject: Hard top paint protector
Date: Thurs., 19 Nov 1998 10:35:36 -0800
From: "Allan Connell"-

Have not gotten the cross member yet. Had to work out the most cost-effective (mark that cheapest,) form of freight available. Finally got the check and the shipping label out to him this week. Also getting a couple of tail light lenses from him as well. Mine are fine, but these days I am in the mood to try and collect spares....and I believe that the early tail light lenses are hard to find.
Glad you are keeping one of the "protectors" for me. Please let me know how your marketing effort proceeds as well as the results. Nice note to the group. Are you a closet marketing weenie like I am a closet engineer??

Subject: Hard top paint protector
Date: Fri,. 20 Nov 1998
From: Steve Laifman


This concept uses a static cling heavy transparent film that only comes in wide rolls with minimum order sizes. I could probably build enough for every Tiger and Alpine that still exists with a hard top, and have left-overs. And it is not cheap in the heavy gauge. I've tried to get the racing number "Meatball" makers to undertake this, but they usually handle colored materials (White and Black), and only stock clear in narrow strips for rock protection on fenders. They were not at all interested in a small project of limited market. The one I built for myself went on very nicely with a little water and a squeegee, lasted the winter, and protected the new paint. Peels off easily, and needs to be stored in water so it doen't dry out and stick together in a lump.

The next ones I build will be in three pieces, left side, right side, and the center piece between the trunk hinges. Much less wasteful of material in a layout. Still not efficient to lay out, and a lot of waste material, even with three pieces. This stuff is fairly expensive, without the minimum order hurdle. While I do have some left over 'sample' material (never indicated it was a 'free' sample), and will make one for you when I can, for all the help you've given me in the past.

I've had other requests that thought my target price of $25-$35 very high. With all the hand labor, waste material, and availability of smaller quantities, I don't know that there are enough interested parties to be able to pay for the material, much less the labor of making and shipping it.

Larry Atkisson is making one with an adhesive backing. He says that's what the Corvettes use, and the stuff comes up with a hair dryer. I don't know whether I'd like an adhesive residue to remove from my paint, or would want it on permanently, even though it is not unattractive, and gets covered by a tonneau. His set, I believe is $50.

I'll get back to you next winter, if you remind me.


Subject: Hard top storage ideas
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 15:29:15 -0800
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-
To: Kevin Meek-

Remember - you asked. Here's the complete low-buck solution. Easy, mon. Just got some swivel pulleys at Home Depot, some HD Nylon rope, a worm drive winch, a couple of old seat belts, and a cleat.

Put a eye in a garage beam just above the back edge of the side window (center of gravity of top). Make sure there is enough room up there for the top when the garage door is open.

Use a screw hook and put a pulley next to the eye. Put a pulley at the ceiling down the length of the garage.

Mount the worm drive directly under the last pulley (power both ways and no flip latch and watch it drop or hang on. About $34 at Harbor Freight & Supply). A few more pulleys, if you need to mount this somewhere else and need to change direction of the rope.

Run the nylon rope (use the smooth weave outer skin type of at least a 3/8 diameter. Tie, or rope clamp one end to the eye. put the rope through a pulley meant to lift the top, then run it back to the pulley mounted next to the eye. (You've just cut the effort to half the weight of the hood.)

Run the rope through the pulley at the rear ceiling, then down to the winch. Put a spring loaded cleat on the hanging pulley. Make up a LOOONG seat belt you can buy some for pregnant ladies, or use two. The ends that usually bolt to the floor have plates with holes (or sister hooks). These get snapped to the spring loaded cleat. Run the belt around the top at the rear edge of the window opening and adjust to snap in center inside to top. Leave enough slack to be comfortable putting it on, but not so loose as to hang too low. Cover top with nice blanket (after cleaning and waxing) and cover the edges where the belt goes around with split foam tubing for house air conditioner tubes.

Put some rubber hoses (about 3/8) in the rubber window seals to keep the edges from collapsing. Start cranking. The top goes up to the ceiling for the season. If you get tired of all those turns, you can attach a drill motor (reversible 1/2" chuck) to the winch, or add some pulleys and a reversible a/c motor (old garage door?).

If you're really healthy, you can just pull on the rope or use a boat winch, and cleat it off.

If you want even less effort, for a manual operation, you'll need double pulleys to make the force 1/4 instead of 1/2.

I have a design for a aluminum tube metal holder, with "J" hooks, if the seat belt idea isn't attractive, and another using PVC 3/4 pipe, two elbows and foam pad tubing.

Good luck, it is easy enough that even I can do it.

If you've got money, just go Jan's way, but mine is a DIY method, and just misses the garage lights.

Tying to the latches is a good idea, for hoisting (per Rich Atherton's comment) but it makes the top hang lower.

Allan's got a good idea with the conduit, through the same place as my safety belt, but it applies a lot of local pressure to the rubber. Need to spread that. I wouldn't worry about Allan's head, it's hard enough. {9->

Steve --
Steve Laifman - B9472289

Subject: Topless continued
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:55:52 -0800
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-
To: Colin Mills-

Don't like to through cold water on an intuitive flash, like using two ski racks, but the fact are left "hanging" in the "balance". Since the C.G. (Center of Gravity) of the hardtop is at the rear corner of the window frame, and presumably that is where you would fasten the "first" ski rack, the problem is:

The rack at the rear of the window has ALL the weight, as would a separate pulley system. The front rack would have no weight to lift, and would only be of value in creating an angle backwards. This may cause the rear mount to try to slide forward on the stainless trim. Using just one, with enough double sheaves pulleys, or a winch, to reduce lift load, allows the top to hang straight and horizontal. It doesn't even tilt with a seat belt sling and one swivel pulley. It will, however, rotate if pushed. Since I don't push it, it isn't a problem, but a simple nylon rope tie-off from the top to the beams would prevent that.


BTW: A couple of square aluminum tubes, pop riveted to a center joining plate, some cross pieces at either end of the longitudinal one, and some "J" hooks bent on threaded rod through the cross bar is a simple lift fixture. Could draw it up, if you want, but a simple seat belt works fine, and folds up for storage, as the hook-pulley are raised to the ceiling for the better weather.

This whole job of connecting, releasing and raising the top takes about 5 minutes. A little more time and two people to put it back on. I'd recommend lowering to floor, releasing, and manually inserting points in rear and clamps. The actual attachment is a two man effort for guidance and rotation requirements. If there are two available, manual removal and transport to the floor under the pulley is more secure, as the top needs to rotate to release properly. It can be done with one, but you've got to be careful of swing. I've never been able to park my car exactly centered under the pulley. Less problem on removal than installation, regardless of lift hardware choice.

Steve --

Steve Laifman - B9472289

Subject: Hard Top storage
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 15:55:58 -0500
From: "Parlee, Brad (IndSys,SLS)"-

I put a hoist arrangement together the key to which is a 4' X 4" X 3/4" board with flanges as shown below in top view. Eye hooks are installed at the marks(^) about 6" out from the outer side edges (of top when mounted) and a cross rope with a central loop knot is tied between the hooks. Due to the height of the eye hooks and the distance out from the edge of the top no rubbing or squeezing occurs. The loop knot is snap hooked to a 4:1 Block and tackle with a defeatable backspin clicker (sounds kinky but the things sold at Home Depot).

This fixture lifts the top at its balance point with the load spread out over the upper side screen finishers. The cutouts, show at the outer bottom edge of flanges, allow positive location between the side quarter window frames and front to back against same. The key is to position the hooks slightly forward of actual balance point by adjusting dimension B. By having the top naturally tipping back, a small rope from the loop knot to a rubberized hook hooked under the metal at the back center of the top will stabilize and lock in the support fixture. To make lifting a one man operation I added picture hooks on strings tied around the cross board between the eye hooks and the flanges. By hooking the hooks on gutter trim the fixture is held in place until the actual lifting starts. The flanges are 8"X 4" X 3/4.

_____ _____ | | | | ____| |___________________________| |_____ | | | | | | |__^_| |__________________________ | |__ ^__| |_ | | _| __V |___| |___ | __B ^

Subject: hardtop
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 12:10:35 -0800
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-
To: "James E. Pickard"- "James E. Pickard" wrote:
> I'm confused. Does HT54 mount behind or in front of the pillar? I assume it goes
> in front to form a seal for the door window. And I have no idea which side is front
> and if the notch is on the inside or outside. I don't follow "the rubber is held with
> the aluminum formed section". Pardon the ignorance. It is the price you pay for
> driving the only car of its kind in town - nothing to compare to.

To answer your question, the HT54 mounts in front of the hard top pillar and is held in place with a formed aluminum strip that mounts forward of both the pillar and the rubber and clamps the rubber to the pillar with three machine screws (NOT sms). These formed aluminum stripes have a half-rounded section that clamps the rubber bead to the pillar. The rubber has a flat section on one side and a round section on its other in the clamp area. The flat part of the rubber goes against the pillar, and the round part is captured by the formed section of the aluminum strip. The remaining 'flat flap' angles towards the rear and seals against the side window when the door is closed. The 'notch' is at the bottom of the aluminum strip and faces inwards. The angle bend will then cover the pillar in the inside of the car. There is an extra 4th hole in the pillar that is not threaded. it can be used as an alignment guide with an awl. There are only three screws. It wouldn't take much to tap this hole and use another machine screw. This aluminum strip is rather thin, and bends too easily. you may have to straighten it out. This sounds a little more complicated than it really is, but we haven't got the picture worth the thousand words.

> What are the side glass runners? I don't think I have them and can't find a drawing
> of them anywhere.

Page 19, DC51 and DC52 Door/window channel guides. BTW: the DC52 front and rear are sold in sets, but are completely different from each other.

> My WS55 was installed by the restorer and is in good shape. Didn't know
> there were rubber tips. Haven't joined any organizations yet since I'll too far away to
> participate in any functions.

The advantage of joining the organization, besides the informative newsletter, and National Events, like SUNI III, is the access to the CAT warehouse and the unique parts inventory sold to members only. It's worth it just to get these rare windshield post caps, exact decals for windshield caps for the Furflex windshield attach metal top, original decals for your jack, stainless steel braided brake lines, stainless steel braided oil pressure line from sender to gauge, emergency braided stainless road repair connection to by-pass a blown servo, etc., alternator brackets, etc., only sold to members. They also have Shop Notes and Tech Tips manuals with all sorts of helpful hints from the past.

> I presume you
> have already figured out the front Z channel for the headliner, and how to
> install that.
> Done. Paid a guy to do it right.
> Thanks for the help.
> Jim Pickard
> B9473298 --

Steve Laifman - B9472289

Subject: Hard top hoist design
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 10:54:43 -0700
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-
To: Allan Connell- Allan and Tigers, I also built my own hoist, using swivel pulleys from Home Depot, a manual worm drive winch from Harbor Freight and Supply ($29), and a drill motor because I am lazy.

Start with a bolt-on "J" hook on a beam above the place where you want the corner of the side window to be (that's the approximate center of gravity (a little behind, actually). Put another about 4" over. These hooks have tow lag bolts attaching them to the side of the beam. The center between the hooks is where the center of the top will be, laterally. Hang a swivel eye 1/2" pulley off one hook, and tie off a flat braided 1/2" smooth rope on the other hook. Thread the rope through another swivel pulley, which will be the one you attach the top to, and then back up through the "J" hook stud mounted pulley. From here, run the line to a "J" hook/swivel pulley on your rafters at the appropriate front or side wall. The last "J" hook should be at about a 45 degree angle to allow the swivel to let the rope go down.

If you use this method you will have reduced the pull force to half the top weight. Using multiple shive pulleys (not Home Depot stuff) you can increase this significantly, but you can do it if you were gloves. I bought a screw type manual hoist. This has an advantage over the normal winch with the click stops as it is self locking, and needs to be reverse cranked to lower, instead of manually letting the rope burn your hands. It also has a very high gear ratio and requires many turns for little movement. A 1/4 inch reversible drill, with a 1/2" chuck, will allow you do grab the shaft with the drill and do it electrically at about 2/3 speed.

I have thought about an old garage door opener motor and transmitter/receiver and pulley/belt coupling to do it remotely. The top sling can be made from the same rope. Using a double strand, make a knotted loop on one end, thread it under the top at the rear of the window opening, and over the rain gutters to the snap hook you attach to the hanging pulley eye. Give enough slack to prevent the rope from touching the top paint. Use a piece of garden hose, heater hose, sponge hose from a/c line covers, whatever, to cover the rope on the inside of the top and around the gutters. This protects that area from rope load concentration, Putting some rubber fuel line tubing in the top rubber fold in the contact area prevents collapse here.

Another alternative, if you can find one, is the old-type car roof rack with rain gutter mounting brackets. An screw eye in the center will connect to the snap hook. If you find a pair of really nice ones, I'll buy the second one.

I have also considered 3/4 inch PVC sprinkler pipe and 90 degree ends, with a air-conditioning pipe foam cover on the ends.

The top, when lifted, will angle very slightly to the front. This is good, because you don't want to have it trying to slide off. Mine is mounted with the top front facing the garage door. I hoist it high enough to allow the top front edge to be above the raised garage door. Make sure of your distances BEFORE you mount those first "J" hooks. A soft cover, like an old blanket, should keep the dust off. Clean and wax it before storage.

Good luck, and open to any ideas for improving this do-it-yourself project.

-- Steve Laifman - B9472289

Subject: Hard top hoist
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 23:46:18 EDT
From: DJoh797014@aol.com
To: Fordzrus@aol.com
Check your local mattress discount house for a free plastic bag to store your hardtop in. The new mattresses are in large plastic bags that they throw away after delivery. Two size or Regular size does it. Be sure and leave the bag loose enough to allow air to circulate. Trapping moisture with your hardtop would be a no-no.

Dave Johnson

Subject: Side window adjustment
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 08:48:26 -0700
From: Steve Laifman - B9472289-
To: "Daniel S. Eiland"-

I, too, have the original 1965 top, although it seems to have gotten a case of the 'shorts'. If you pick a hot day, and partially erect the top, and start putting increasing weight on the frame - it may stretch out some.

Sunbeam Specialties carries an excellent top, as well as hardtop upholstery and windows and rubber.

Steve --
Steve Laifman - B9472289

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