I've been gathering up parts to replace the top, wood and all, on our '25 coupe. I'm just about ready to start tearing into it and have a couple of questions. First, does anyone have or know where I can find a list of the fasteners, screws tacks, etc, that are needed. I'm pretty sure the odd J shaped "bolts", for lack of a better term, are usable. I would like to find out what else is needed so I can gather up everything before I start taking things apart. A Google search didn't help. Second, my headliner is pretty good (replaced in the early '60's) so I don't want mess it up. Is it attached to the bottom of the ribs that support the covering? If so, I'm hoping the ribs (original) are still good and I can just replace the perimeter pieces of wood. They have all rotted where the top material was tacked on but wasn't sealed. Material was also replaced in the early '60's. I was at first thinking of using an air stapler to fasten the material to the wood, but got to thinking that the staples wouldn't be as "robust" as tacks. Also, am afraid they would rust much easier. The air stapler would sure be handy, but maybe not as good? I haven't messed with any tops before, so
any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Dave
The material is fastened to the ribs. I used an air stapler on mine, and seemed to work fine. If you are going to be replacing wood around the perimeter, you will have to take the headliner out. Take the top off first, so you can get to the headliner. Depending on the condition of the fabric, you might want to consider replacing it, as it is 50 years old, and you have to take the top off to install it.
I have a series of pictures of a 1920 coupe roof job I did several years ago. Not that much different for a 1925. Send me a message, and I can send them to you.
Michael, PM sent. That info helps a lot. Many thanks. Dave
More on coupe top replacement:
I have a late 24 T Coupe which is probably a 25 to some people. I replaced the top and surrounding top wood in it 5 years ago.
As far as fastners go I used the same type of tacks that was originally used in it. I used a small tack hammer which worked fine. I bought the surrounding top wood pieces from Langs. It was a little different than my original but fit. I bought the top kit from Macs. Got it within a week with good materials that fit.
I wanted to be "original" as much as I could and decided to stray a little and used chicken wire which some despise and some don't.
Looking back, using the chicken wire was a good choice. It works really well and makes a nice flat and good looking top.
David it may take a little longer but you'll be ahead if you replace the complete top material.
Installing a headliner isn't that difficult.
Besides when you completely remove everything that's rotted or broken you don't have to worry about breaking something or messing things up.
I also used a staple gun (not air) which worked great when installing the chicken wire.
The chicken wire is your choice but remember you cant see it and besides it makes the top look very nice. Its no different than using improved mechanical parts that you cant see.
Hope this helps.
Video on Tudor headliner installation:
Excellent videos, Mark!
They've helped to fill in the blanks to some of my own 'unanswered questions'.... There are also some interesting videos which follow those links. Thanks!
Many thanks guys! Mark, those videos are great, answered a lot of questions!
John, I have a top material kit to go on also. I also have some chicken wire. The kit came with a foam padding about a 1/4 inch thick. I was concerned about the foam drying out and deteriorating over time, so I got some polyester fiber fill that is just a bit thicker but I figured it would just make the top have a bit more padded look. Do you think that is a good idea? Another thing was, I figured the polyester wouldn't rot or deteriorate either. After watching Elizabeth's videos, it looks like the way to go would be to assemble the all of the wood as a unit, then install the headliner.
Many thanks guys! Dave
David, using the poly fiber fill will probably be ok as long as the little extra thickness doesn't cause the top material to wind up being to short to tack to the surrounding top wood. It would have to be awful thick to cause that but check the final top material to be sure.
Just curious but does your car still have the rain gutter strips that go over the doors and quarter window?
On some Coupes they have gone missing over time.
Michael, many thanks for the pictures! They will sure help. I need all of the guidance I can get!
Thanks John. The polyester is about 1/2 thick so I'm hoping it will come out OK and not look too "puffy". Yes, it still has the rain gutters. I'm lucky that the former owner put them back on.
Thanks to all of you guys for the help. Dave
I use the polyester--if it seems too thick I've found it will "layer out" to half it's thickness if one is careful.
Another advantage to the chicken wire is that, if your are careful to not let it touch the metal body, it can be used as a radio antenna! Solder a good wire to it and run it down a door hinge post so you can connect it to a receiver.
David Dewey, you're the one that gave me the idea of using polyester. Sounds like a heck of a good idea to me. I think that stuff lasts forever! Well, at least a heck of a long time. If it doesn't work out, can I blame you? Dave