I'm in the process of installing an open car top kit for my 1926 T touring. The upholstery instructions are terrible .... does anyone have photo's and/or diagrams of how one progress along with installing a cartouche kit.
I would search for another Cartouche thread here and contact Mike Robinson as he spoke highly of Cartouche. Since he claims they have sold or installed many (can't remember the exact term), maybe he has some help to offer. Personally your dilememia is just another example why I feel Cartouche is 2nd rate. Naturally I am sugar-coating my feelings because I do not have much good to say about the quality of them, --or their parent company's products.
If you want the professional way, just order the video tape / DVD from JV Group. This video takes you step by step, the example vehicle is a '27 Touring. I got one, it was great help, especially on how to be sure your bows and top irons are balanced for the correct look to the finished top covering.
Vince has made a fine effort to provide a very good movie of the top install. It's worth the money to buy this tape.
Some views of my install of a JV Group top on my '27.
I am not picking on you, but I have a question concerning the initial adjustment of the top. bows.
I hope you don't mind me borrowing your picture, but I believe that the top irons should be initially installed so that the hinge pin for the front section of the front bow should be above the red line I have drawn. This way, when the top is down, the hinge will go over center and automatically tension the top. The problem, as I am sure you found, is that the top clamps really determine the angle of that front bow, and I cannot see how to move that frame hinge up without somehow reworking the top to windshield clamps. Anybody else have a solution?
While the photo shows that 'droop', most of the 'so-called' One Man top irons I have seen over the years exhibit about the same.
Most frames, that point you figure as the hinge pin for the front bow is really a stop hinge, you can't ride it up, the travel is limited. You get the 'rack' to stand level by bending the little curved arm shown on the right. Those arms get real abuse! And this top iron set was one that I assembled, and was pretty worn too. A new repro set of irons might give a best result.
The important point is to have the top bows give the right pitch, so that the 2nd bow is higher than the 3rd bow, and the 4th rear bow lower too, to get the rain to flow off and not puddle. That rear bow needs to be back about 1" from the rear body, that tends to pull the top frame in the best position.
Also, with a good top cover kit like JV Group, there is plenty of material to cover the side irons, other less quality kits don't cover the side irons.
Mine is a home install, and in no way am I an expert on top covering, but the JV Group fits best than other kits I have used, Carter Cut and Cover, and Macs.
Besides, no matter how good you get that top fitted and looking good, the best view in a touring is with the top down!!
I am just finishing the installation of a top on my '23 touring. I bought the top and the installation DVD from JV Group. Like Dan said, the video is well worth the cost. This was my first top and I'm sure I would not have made out well without the knowledge I got from the video.
That said, I want to add that Vince Iaccino is a great guy to deal with. He will do whatever he can to assure that the top fits and the customer is happy. His interest in our hobby is as extensive as his obvious knowledge about tops and their installation. If I ever have to install another top or do upholstery, I know who I'll be getting it from. Thanks Vince