Bodywork, Paint, Interior, Trim, & Wiring

discussions about bodywork, paint, interiors, trim, audio, electrical components, wiring, etc.

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rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Cypress, TX
(2332 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
New top
Posted by: rficalora
Date: January 12, 2016 09:58PM

I have a couple of snugtops that need restoring but time has been my enemy. So, when I saw this hardly used SmoothLine top on Craigslist I grabbed it. Cost me $500 but I'll recoup that whenever I finish restoring one of the Snugtops.

The Smoothline is in really good shape. I need to 're-affix the top to body seal - its there, but the glue failed. The rest of the seals are there and in good shape. It is missing the rear fastening hooks but I think they are just J-hooks with knobs to tighten them.

The guy I bought it from bought it new but sold his MG shortly after so it's been in his garage for a couple years. It has a nice, textured tan finish on the inside and has a sunroof that pops up in the back and also has clips so the glass can be lifted out completely too. The only thing I don't like about it is the back is soft/flexes. I may decide to reinforce it at some point but am going to use it as is first to see if that's really needed. It at not flex once claimed down on the car. I'll probably also paint it gloss black at some point, but probably not for a while.
IMG_7148-2.jpg


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5260 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: New top
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: January 13, 2016 12:11PM

Biggest problem those tops had... well there were two of them and they are related. The seal tends to get dislodged because of the clamping pressure in the middle caused by the bow of the top. The hold-downs are at 4 points, at the front and at the sides. None in the rear. The side clamps were a poor design, essentially turnbuckles and not particularly well located for the job they have to do.

But otherwise they are really good tops. I had mine lined with trunk flocking (mat).

Put your brain to work Rob, there has to be a better way to do those side clamps, and a more attractive one. BTW I don't see the side badges, which is the attachment for the side clamps. Have they been painted over?

Jim


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Cypress, TX
(2332 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: New top
Posted by: rficalora
Date: January 13, 2016 09:35PM

Good info Jim. There are no side badges nor signs they were ever there, so I have to believe it's a difference between the original Parrish tops and how Smoothline is making them today. The side hold downs are in the same place as they were, but are a different design. Not that I think it's really any better - although it should be more convenient - Smoothline replaced the turnbuckles with a stainless L shaped bracket on the top and a J hook with a knob. The j part of the j-hook goes into a hole that's in the tauneau bar bracket. The top/threaded portion of the j-hook goes through the L bracket in the top. The knob is then thightened to cinch it down.

I'm not sure, but my guess is the back is thinner and designed to flex vs the rigid design of the original Parrish tops to help it conform to the car body. Hopefully that will help with the rear seal staying on. If not, I'll need to modify it - I have a couple of ideas if needed.

Interesting about the trunk flocking. This top has an extra charge option "headliner". It says it's 3X thicker than than their standard. The texture of it something like a cross between flocking and the coarse grey carpet used to wrap speaker boxes. Except it's tan instead of grey. It looks good and should help with insulation/sound. But, I have no idea what it is and appears sprayed on. So, if I have to modify the top in any way, I'll either have to be really careful or end up having to redo it completely as I don't think it can be repaired.

Good news is I found the missing rear j-hooks and knobs. The seller must have put them in my Truck when I wasn't paying attention. And, when I called today, the guy at Smoothline was very friendly and happy to provide info even though I bought it used. I called about buying a new top to body seal, but he advised the seal has a vynal covered metal channel & suggested pressing the channel sides together to tighten it back up before buying a replacement. Pretty good customer service when he could have sold me the seal.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5260 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: New top
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: January 14, 2016 11:16AM

The back of the PP tops flexed pretty easily, but still, by the time you had it sealed in the corners it was pulled down hard in the middle. I kept a 10mm open end wrench in the glove box for the turnbuckles. Keeping the seal attached took some really good glue.

Jim


DonB
Don Bonar
Prairie Village, KS
(80 posts)

Registered:
09/09/2011 10:06AM

Main British Car:
1971 MG-B 95 GM 3.4 V-6

Re: New top
Posted by: DonB
Date: February 27, 2016 01:47PM

Good info and like the top...

I have a Bermuda top made by Classic Motorcrafts (long since defunct) of London. I've replaced the "greenish" plastic with Lexan, lightly tinted in dark red like car and top.... with camel suede lining after installing reflective heat and sound deadening mats.

All the rubber around the top and side panels were savable but rear seal between top and car body was shot. Therein is my problem. I've worn out Steele and all other rubber manufacturers catalogs I could find, without any luck. Tried to fabricate by "layering up" various sick-on seals... nada.

Top attaches very simply... front clips and header looks as if it were right off standard MGB... two side down "blades" which fit in the pockets used by my removable Fold-a-way soft top, and has two clips for the same rear top seal points as the soft top.

The rear brackets are screw type knobs that look like your old fashioned orange juicer in the kitchen... easy on/off.

Any thoughts for another source for the rear rubber?

If you're not familiar with Bermuda tops and want more info.... send me a P/M with your email and I'll send you more detailed pics... I can't seem to attach much of anything to this posting. Attached photo is NOT my car... but good angle.

Don B.
Good rearpic.jpg


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(55 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: New top
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: March 02, 2016 03:35PM

Hello Don
Try this company [www.woolies-trim.co.uk]
In the 1980s I built a kit car, but the word kit car in this case was misleading, the only parts supplied were the radiator surround and the scuttle and a bundle of A4 papers giving the dimensions to construct the rest, everything else was fabricated from steel (chassis) and plywood and alloy sheet (bodywork). I bought all the trims and seals that were needed from this company.
Philip


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