Hard Top Mounting for a 1500


(several emails on this subject)

Now that I have acquired a hard top for my '77 1500 I need some help/info. I know I still need to get the mounting hardware and that seems to be available through Vicki Brit or Spitbits (probably some others). The Haynes manual shows 6 mounting points for a hardtop, but looking at the catalogs, I can only see 2. Looking at the top I see the mounting points back by each 1/4 window, nothing along the windshield or across the back under the back window (like it shows in the Haynes manual).

1. Can some one out there fill me in on how this thing attaches?

2. Vicki Brit lists two types of mounting posts, one with and one without a soft top installed. Just what does that mean? Can the soft top be left on when the hard top is installed?

Thanks,

Paul Mostrom
'77 Spitfire 1500

Paul, The mounting points for the hard top are as follows.

1. The ones by the 1/4 window that you have allready found.

2. on the top of the windshield frame, these are probably covered by rubber stops, pull these off and you will see them.

3. the last two are on the rear deck, probably partially covered by your convertable top, pull the edges back a little and you should see them.

As for the mounting posts, the differences in the mounting posts is basically the length. The longer ones allow the soft top to stay attached while the hard top is on.

Hope I helped,

Patrick Bowen

There are 6 mounting points. These parts are illustrated in VB's HARDTOP COMPONENTS section of their catalog. The catalogue doesn't show the actual location of the mounting points but looking at the underside of your hardtop you will be able to spot them. There should be two brackets near the 1/4 windows, two threaded holes at the front, and two open holes at the rear.

Four Chrome Hardtop bolts (VB# 14-239) - two at the front and two at the rear are needed. The front two also need Distance tubes (VB# 12-4065) so that the chrome frame above the windshield is not damaged when you tighten the top down. The rear two mounting points, if I recall correctly, are two open threaded holes in the soft top retaining bar. There are also plain and locking washers needed.

The other two mounting points are the tie bars near the 1/4 windows. If the soft top remains in the car you need the shorter of the two types (VB# 18-095), the longer one (VB# 18-097) is used if the soft top is removed. The reason for this is that with the top removed you have to use one of the holes that the soft top frame used to attach to the body. With the soft top in place, the shorter tie bar attaches to the soft top frame. There are also an assortment of washers and bolts needed here as well. Hopefully, the hard top you purchased still has the Hardtop Body Brackets attached (VB#'s 18-099 and 18-098) near the mounting point by the quarter windows. The tie bar and a bolt go through this bracket to tighten the top down.

Shop around for these parts, or ask the list for used pieces, added together they are expensive. I believe that I paid about half of what the VB catalog wants for these parts.

Regards,

Ron Fowler
'80 Inca Yellow Spitfire with Overdrive

No info on mounting, just a cautionary note about using a hardtop on your convertible. When I bought my car new, originally it came ordered with a factory hardtop (I have sold the top many years ago as I'm a die hard ragtop kinda guy). I remember, and maybe it was because I tightened mine down too hard, that due to vibration, and the way it was securely mounted it scratched the paint over many years, on the rear deck area of the car in the exact shape of the hardtop no less - Maybe it's just the way I used/attached mine, and possibly others may counter/dispute my experience, but it's something to consider if you have a really nice paint job you don't want ruined.

Barry Schwartz (San Diego) bschwart@pacbell.net
72 V6 Spitfire (daily driver)

Fellow (factory) Hardtoppers,

Check the underside of your hardtop where it rests on the rear edge. There used to be a rubber pad (about 1" by 1-1/2") surrounding each bolt hole. The purpose of these pads was to keep the hardtop (edge) from resting on the rear deck (and damaging the paint). Problem is: They were only attached with a dab of glue, so eventually they fall off. If they didn't fall off, by now they've taken on a compression set and are about 1/2 their original thickness. Either way the top ends up sitting too low, especially if you torque the rear bolts much. The foam rubber weatherstrip compresses pretty easily .

It's not hard to cut some new pads out of some (relatively) hard rubber. The originals were about 1/4" thick, but I made a couple of sets out of some ~1/2" thick rubber stock. This made it a little harder to get the rear bolts started, but once tightened, the top seals nicely in the back and sits a comfortable distance off the rear deck.

If you decide to try this and don't have an original pad left to use as a guide, contact me (off-list) and I'll measure mine for you.

With respect to the hardtop "rubber pads" I mentioned, they are pictured in the TRF and VB catalogs, and ostensibly available for purchase.

They are (strangely) labeled as a "seal". They don't.

Bob Sykes

I fitted my top with a seal on the back to prevent scratches on the paint. Peoply who want can take a look at http://users.pandora.be/spitfire1500/. Ward Callebaut

baddogracing@yahoo.com


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