We are quickly approaching the time when I will be acquiring my grandfather's 24 roadster. I know a lot of that car inside and out, but one thing I know little about is how to operate the top. He's staunchly against lowering the top in order to prevent creasing. I however, am all for lowering the top on a nice day and putting it back up when the day's driving is done. The top has been down twice since it went on in 1970, he doesn't remember how to properly lower and raise the top. How does one go about this?
Great question! Here are a sequence of pictures I just took showing the steps.
First, unroll the straps on the top saddles and lay the straps to each side, so that the saddles are ready to receive the rear bows:
Then, loosen the wing nuts up under the front of the top and push the front of the top up off of the windshield posts:
Then, slowly allow the top assembly to swing rearward until the rear bows are both nestled into their respective saddles:
Now, notice that the bottom of the front bow has a peg on each side that is inserted into a pair of notches in the second bow. Disengage the pegs from the notches, and move the first bow forward so that the pegs fit into the holes in the tabs of the third bows, like so:
Lastly, adjust the top material so that it is folded evenly and neatly, then wrap the bows with the saddle straps and buckle them down.
It is a good idea to always store the car with the top up to minimize the creasing that your grandfather was worried about.
And yes, my top bows are scraped up because I lower and raise my top a lot and I'm not always as careful as I should be. Good luck with your roadster!
Thanks for the detailed response Mark, I appreciate it. Love that pickup bed by the way!
A quicker way is to drive the car into a trailer too low for the top. I have seen this a few times on tours, it quicker but a bit hard to the bows.
Something I read in the past and sort of "stored away" in my ever-failing memory as it seemed like logical and good advice:
It was said that one of the surest ways to experience premature wear on a top is to put the top down and leave it down for long periods of time,....like all summer for example. It was explained that dust and dirt from driving accumulates between the folds of the lowered top which results in a gradual buildup of abrasive material that continues to cause abnormal wear to the top material between folds due to the constant movement from vibration . The "bottom line" you might say of this written advice was to put the top up and "LEAVE IT UP" as that would eliminate this source of otherwise constant wear to the top material.
This sounded like good advice to me, and I would think that even the use of a top boot would make little difference since road dust & dirt will still find its' way into the folded top.
For what it's worth,.....harold
Nobody has mentioned it yet, but I should point out that the two snaps on the top of the windshield frame of my car are not original. I added the two snaps to help hold down the wind flap. Before I added the snaps, air would get under the flap and blow it up and in during high winds. The spot of red that you see under the snaps is a dab of RTV that I put on the threads to keep water from getting into the windshield frame (I should have used black RTV, but red was all I had at the time).
Matthew. In my early life I've lowered several model A tops for individuals. I wouldn't consider lowering your model T. It would totally destroy the value of the car except to rodders. Bob
One think to check, is to see if your car has the rubber plugs in the sides of the body. If so, you will have to buy top saddles and irons. If it has saddles, make sure you undo the leather straps that hold the top in place after you put it down. Putting it down is a piece of cake. After you have it laying in the saddles, move the front bow up to the next notch, and you are done. It's easier with two people, but I've done it many times alone.
That top is a "two man" top. Have one person on each side and as you lower it take the front bow out of the socket and put in the hole lower on the back bow. Mark refers this to pegs and notches. It is important to use two people to do this. Very easy to slip and scratch up the paint if you try to do it by yourself.
Follow the series of instructions posted by Mark above.
And if you drive around with the top down in summer sun, wear protective sun screen!! I think you will find that leaving the top up makes driving much more comfortable. I know, top down looks pretty snazzy, but. . . .