I think I like earlier T tops better than the later style. Will be glad when I get done with this!
Looks good so far!
I am a very visual person. Love the photos.
Is there a video or pictorial of the process to putting a top on a T? I have the irons and a small pile of wood. I just need a reference of some place to start.
This is good:
Fun fun. I'm next this winter with my 26 roadster.
Thanks for the pics!
Your side rails appear to still be hanging too low. On most cars of that era, you need to use the straps and pads to pull the second bow from the back tight, which will raise the side irons. It could be that on the T it's a combination of the middle bows, but either way, the straps should be able to put enough tension on the bows to pull up the side irons, you don't want them showing beneath the sides of your top.
I will check that David! This is the part that is critical, getting the straps and pads nailed on in the right place. If this part is not right nothing will be right.
There are 2 inch wide webbing straps that run fore and aft and down the rear. You need to fit these, on my 24 the rear curtain was almost vertical. I put sticks between the rear bow and the body to tension the webbing and hold the rear bow in position. As best I remember, I installed the top first and then the rear curtain. If you are in Dallas, Nolan could be a great help. It took me 32 hours to fit and install the top. If your rear curtain doesn't have a roll up window get it added.
Yes, you need to have the rear vertical straps in place to be able to pull on bows. Usually you install the rear curtain first, the the top, that way the top material rear edge overlaps the curtain top edge, letting water drain over the edge instead of weeping into the joint.
Make sure shop is warm best is to install in heat and sun, to get tight!
He's got the 2" wide back straps on already.
On my '25 roadster, the back stay straps were 4" wide. I'm talking the Ford originals.
Royce, on our colonial tops, there is usually a device at the join between the front bow and the next bow, at the point you have your props. It is a mechanical stop which stops them going over centre. Yours may have this, and it may need welding/re-building to keep that join lifted. That way, your side irons will be lifted up inside the line of the top.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Royce if you keep doing this you'll be able to open up your own top shop. How much fun would that be!
I may be full of crap (been said before) but let me tell you what happened with a top I had put on mine. I tow on an open trailer and got caught in heavy rain. Those straps shrank ALOT! I bought a new top to replace what I have as it won't go up. Seems the straps are about 1.5-2 inches too short now. My next install, the straps will have hot water poured on them and set out in the sun to dry and pre-shrink before attaching them to the bows.
The rear straps on the roadster kit I bought from Classtique were wider than the front straps. The rear straps get positioned to hide the seam on each side of the rear curtain.
Also visible in the picture is the rain flap on the front bow.
One other thing I should mention - on the front bow, take care to keep your material seams and all of your staples/nails in a line that is narrow enough to be covered by a single piece of welting - I forgot to do that and had to run two strips of welting in the front to cover everything. It looks fine to most folks, but purists will cringe.
I haven't confirmed the dimensions shown in this schematic but it may be a good place to start. I can't recall where I came across it so feel free to comment or credit.
I see David's point. Once the #4 bow is "set" to the rear of the body with the wide straps, the distance between #3 and #4 will "lock" the joint behind #1 bow and pull that joint up above the drip edge of the main deck.
Ken in Texas
I don't know all the dimensions Ken but that is the dimension I used for the rear bow, so all the other dimensions are going to be set from that point.
David I checked last night, the rear end of the forward bow cannot be lifted any further. It is at the mechanical limit of the pivot points on both sides. The #2 bow is also mechanically as far to the rear as it can go, with its pivots nested in the hooks on the #3 bow, and held in place by the length of the straps and gravity.
royce! who made the upholstery in your car? thanks charley
The upholstery is from Langs. I have to say so far it appears to be a good value. The fit and quality are excellent.
OK Royce, just thought I'd comment. I've seen a lot of tops on which the side rails show under the top fabric. I recently put side curtains on an early Buick, and someone had installed a strap on each side, from the second bow from the front down to the side irons, to hold them up!
There's a lot of mechanical things going on with the side irons, so just thought I'd mention that the bow straps can help control that.
Tops are my favorite thing to do from scratch, although kits can be a problem, as in 80-100 years a LOT of things can happen to top irons and bows......
I think your problem may be lack of enough backward slope to the windshield. This places the second bow somewhat too low and affects the geometry of the rest of the system.
See: 25 touring top
That sketch is mine. I thought it might be of some use as a starting point and was measured when the top was replaced on this car. The body is all original with respect to wood and sheet metal and the bows were also original to the car. Top is a Carter kit.
I can't get anything to work on Tony's (Cimorelli) site. Dead-end links and links that don't do anything. Apparently, it requires Java. That ain't gonna happen here. Too bad. Looks like a lot of good pictures but they're all the size of a postage stamp.
Thank you for the drawing. I filed it away but failed to note the source.
Ken in Texas
I had a lot of trouble when I did the top on our car until the folks here helped with the windshield angle: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/129110.html?1268134865
After bending the windshield frame, everything lined up pretty well.
Nice work, John -- That's a beautiful fit.
Royce, if your top came from Langs, it most likely is a Cartouche.
Right, the upholstery and top and door panels and top pads all are Cartouche. I have to say the fit and quality are excellent.
The car has all its original body wood and it appears the body has never been off the frame. The windshield looks like the proper angle to me. The photo may be misleading because the Hasslers on the back raise it way up, plus someone added extra spring leafs.
I would never ever bend the windshield posts! This indicates there is a problem somewhere else. I have also read at least two accounts of mis-fitting Car Touche tops. I would rather put the blame on the Car Touche top than the original top sockets and bows, after all Ford was turning out cars by the thousands. They would bend the windshield posts? I think not. The problem is in the top material! If you are going to buy a kit top, Classtique is the way to go.
John, that is a nice looking top installation.
I would make one recommendation to anyone putting a kit top on a car.
Usually, the kit comes with a thin material, foam or cotton, for the pad. It's not quite enough to smooth over the bows, and foam will degrade in a matter of ten years or so.
I use 40 ounce jute, covered in a thin cotton batting top and bottom. Just the jute would be a huge improvement over foam.
Really enjoy the forum!
In our case the windshield posts were actually bent backwards, perhaps from running into a garage or trailer header before we owned it. This was pretty obvious by looking at the posts once it was first noticed.
When we bought it, it had no top and only a couple top irons so who knows what had happened in the past. I would never bend the windshield posts to make a top fit, but I would bend them so they were at the correct angle.
I can't see an obvious problem with Royce's car but I can say that a little bit of change in the windshield angle makes a lot of difference in the fit of the irons.
A test fit of the top deck and rear window tells me there is no way this top is going to look right. The top deck is just not sewn properly. May have to look into buying one from Classtique.
Here is what I want it to look like (David and Cathy Harris' car):
Here is what it would look like using the current top kit: