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Cranleigh Car Show

Time on my hands! (Work in progress)

I have been promising the 4a a new top for the past 5 years. In March I purchased a new one from ‘Prestige Autotrim Products’, organised a fitter and then entered lock down, argh!!!. After doing a lot of research and with all the time in the world I decided to go the DIY route. Here we go then……..

Stage 1

Removed the rubber seal and securing channel from the font underside of the hood frame. Released the old hood from the front of the frame, this is easily done as the hood material is glued on.

At the back, undid the 5 rail securing bolts concealed underneath the hood. Released the trim rail from the car and remove the 7 ‘lift off’ pillars to release and remove the old cover.

Refitted the rear trim rail to facilitate measuring the webbing datum points between each frame rail. Documented any significant points for subsequent referral during install.

Bare frame and rear trim rail
Rear webbing datum point
Webbing front datum point (note: the webbing goes over the securing plate, very important)

Stage 2

I drilled out all the pop rivets securing the webbing and removed and binned them. Rimmer Bros supply a great fitting kit that contains all the components that are required to fit the new hood.

Drill out the pop rivets

Removed the entire frame from the car and examined it for problems, geometry, damage, wear etc. After 50 years a number of pivot points where excessively loose. Each pivot point is secured with a large rivet pin, to tighten the pivot point the rivet pin needs to be compressed. I achieved this using a ball pein hammer and an iron block with the pin sandwiched between them. A few strong blows of the hammer did the trick

Pivot and rivet pin

Rubbed down the entire frame assembly with various grades of wet and dry. (it took forever) Washed and applied paint prep to the frame prior to painting. Did the same with the rear trim rail and sprayed it up.

After 2 coats of primer and 4 coats paint the frame is now back on the car and looking good. The next step is to fit the webbing and trial fitting the new hood making sure that the frame hoops match up to the seams in the hood.

Eastwood satin chassis black paint

Also trial fit the webbing into the rear restraining strip. The webbing came unfinished. Thanks to Avis sewing machine the retaining pins were secured.

Retaining pin

Started to fit new webbing to the hoops unfortunately, the pop rivets supplied by Rimmer (3.2mm) were two small as it looks like the frame rivets had been drilled out more than once. Sourced some larger diameter rivets (4.0mm) from Ebay and now have to wait a few days for delivery.

First sighting of the new hood

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