Unfortunately common sense seems to be a scarce commodity.
It's impossible to teach a person how to stretch and install a top, seat
covers or other upholstery with a printed flier. It really does take
practice and a lot of care to get the feel of how the material is
Unfortunately there have been way too many cases of people not taking
the time to learn these skills and so producing very poor results and
blaming the supplier or manufacturer for not providing adequate
With these instances, the installer will not take the responsibility for
doing a bad job and expects someone else to pay for their blunders. In
this day of consumer awareness, the supplier typically has to roll over
and despite knowing their product was not to blame pays damages to the
customer. Personally, I can imagine the only way these people can live
with themselves is a total disregard for their fellow human beings, as
they spoil the whole game for everyone.
The same is true for most aspects of automotive repair and restoration.
The only safe fallback is to refer the installer to the factory manuals,
which in the case of soft goods are useless.
Clear and concise installation instructions for all of the parts we work
with would be wonderful and as time allows there is a lot of work going
into producing this kind of material. The help of clubs such as the
Chicagoland MG club and people like Barney Gaylord and Paul Hunt are
really appreciated and at some point I'm hoping that some of this wealth
of material can be presented in an easily searchable format to help the
On the home front, Moss is working on providing a much higher level of
product specific information on-line through the website in the form of
pdf and "more info" buttons, so that potential problems and fitting
issues can be addressed prior to purchase. This means that when a new
product is introduced, we can ensure that the purchaser knows what is
entailed to fit a product that may be somewhat different than original.
This is a daunting task though as there are so many changes and issues
On this specific issue, the last time we needed a top installed on a
company MGB we did take lots of pictures with the intention of producing
an article for British Motoring covering the installation. I've still
got the photos somewhere, but havn't had a chance to put the text
together yet. We did manage to publish the carpet installation of the
project. I guess it's time to dig the photos out and go over them.
Classic Motorsports also did do a really good article on a top
installation sometime in the last couple of years, but I wasn't able to
find it on-line. I'm also working with the people there to get
permission to host their British Car tech stories, with appropriate
Back to work.
Wishing everyone a happy new year.
From: owner-mgs@Autox.Team.Net [mailto:owner-mgs@Autox.Team.Net] On
Behalf Of Charles & Peggy Robinson
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: top installation instructions
Just for info:
I bought a Robbins top 20 years ago that came with installation
instructions. Fine. But 5 years or so ago I bought another Robbins top
that had no instructions. So I called them up. They said they were
afraid that if a DIY installer botched the job it would devolve back on
them. Sheesh, it's a sign of the times.