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Hard top restoration

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dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Hello to the forum -

I am starting to restore my original factory hard top. I have decided to disassemble it but have not been able to get the aluminum trim off the fiberglass structure. Screws are all out, but the trim won't budge. Obviously the fiberglas is fragile, and the aluminum trim bends very easy. How is the trim attached? Glue? Any insight would be appreciated.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-27 08:47 PM by dkgraber85.

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Bluehealey Avatar
Bluehealey Alan B
Blandford Forum, Dorset, UK   GBR
Does this help?
Lin Rose Document.

Have fun. thumbs up



www.bluehealey.com

dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Thanks to those who replied.

My issue is disassembly. I can't for the life of me remove the aluminum pieces from the fiberglass top. Were they glued on / caulked on at the factory? All screws are out and they feel loose, but won't come off completely. That is what I am wanting to know / needing help with. I appreciate the assembly stuff - it will be helpful, just can't get there yet. Thanks!

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dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Hello again to the forum -

Just an update on my hard top disassembly. Today I finally got the aluminum removed! The trick I used was using a heat gun and warming up the aluminum (and thus, the glue), and working the trim until it came off. Some careful tapping also helped dislodge the aluminum pieces after heating, but it did come apart finally. The fiberglass is in very good shape with no stress cracks, and I am hoping to clean and straighten everything up, polish out the rear window, and just repaint and replace the rubber and headliner / interior pieces. Does anyone know if you can polish out these plexiglass windows? Motoring on...


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Hi,
I've had excellent results removing scratch's from Plexiglass windows & headlight covers by using the same buffing compounds, Pad & slow speed Buffer(< 700 rpm) that I use for final paint polishing.
Other buffing compounds will probably work , but I progress with 3M 06085- 06084- & final 06068.

dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
To the forum -

Its been two years, but here is the latest info on my hardtop restoration. I finally collected all the pieces to go back together and that process went much easier than getting that alum. trim off at the beginning. Used silicone rather than a stiffer 3M product, painted body color, had the interior pieces done in a headliner that matches the interior color, and had all the aluminum chromed to match my chromed cockpit trim. Put everything together in about 2 days. Here are the results.

Waiting for my seal kit from British Specialists and will finish it out.


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mondrian5 Avatar
mondrian5 jon m
Hudson Valley, NY, USA   USA
Gorgeous!

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Darin,

Strong work! You polished your rear window so good that you can't even see it.

Jack T Avatar
Greensburg, PA, USA   USA
That's beautiful! What did you use for the headliner? And did you cover the original material or r&r it?

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Beautiful job Darin!!!!!

Texas57 Silver Member Robert C
Stephenville, TX, USA   USA
WOW very nice
I am quite jealous

~R

Rob Glasgow Avatar
Lompoc, CA, USA   USA
Beautiful. When you said you had the aluminum pieces chromed, did you mean they were chrome plated using se ame process as steel? Like bumpers? I had not thought of that.

haasad Avatar
haasad Andy H
Wareham, Dorset, UK   GBR
Beautiful looking job and a real inspiration for when I find one to fit my BN4 which is I think similar colours being solid Black with a Maroon Leather and Wilton interior.

J Neil Avatar
J Neil Neil Stewart
Monroe, NC, USA   USA
Just wondering, are the rear windows installed? Neil

dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Hello all,

Been busy but wanted to answer a few of the latest questions posted regarding my hardtop restoration.

I painted the shell myself at a shop with a paint booth using the same paint I shot on the car. The prep and paint was all done by me with existing supplies from the car, cost: $0 I have not cut or polished yet...not sure I will or even have to as it laid out really smooth. What you see is two-stage, four coats of color, four coats of clear and baked.

I had all the aluminum trim that would normally be anodized, chromed instead of polished. Didn’t want to have to maintain a polish over time. There is a place in town that chromes aluminum (a different process than steel) and he charged me about $225 to do everything.

The plexiglass is installed and I have included pics. I was polishing with a headlight polishing system, but I still have a ways to go. That solution does seem to work. The install of the original plexiglass using new seals ran $60.

The seal kit was sourced from British Car Specialists in Stockton CA. It contained everything needed to do one hardtop, although I saved and reused some of the original foam blocks and pads. Goal cost $690 shipped.

The headliner was chosen from samples at a local upholstery shop...it is headliner, in the correct color to match my current interior, and looked very similar to the original off-white headliner pattern in available kits. But it is from a 50’s ford or something. All the interior panels were recovered using new material. The upholstery work cost about $450.

The hardtop stand is from eBay. $118

I have since finished all the hardware install and have acquired a pretty good fit after tinkering with it. Just need to finish trimming the side curtains.

Total cost for the hardtop restoration, $1600 including supplies like silicone sealant to reattach the chrome, and the headlight lens polishing kits. Not bad for a accessory that adds $7500+ to the value of the car. Hope some of this is helpful, the actual restoration of these isn’t really difficult, just fiddly at times. Take your time and anyone could do it. Best to all...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-12 12:23 AM by dkgraber85.


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